6 miles up Parker Ridge
PNT Mile 261
At 11pm last night I awoke to a major thunder and lightning storm with strong wind and heavy rain. It lasted for about 2 hours. I was very happy to be in the trees instead of exposed on the summit above.
I walked downhill and soon joined a forest road down to the valley. Then I walked on paved roads across the valley.
Near the end of that I got a ride for ½ mile. And surprise! Emma and Chris were already in the back of the pickup!
I finally got to the bottom of Parker Ridge. The guidebook calls this one of the PNT’s epic climbs. 5100 ft in 10 miles. It was 2pm when I got to the bottom and there was supposed to be some camping about 7 miles up.
I started running into many downed trees. Then more and more.
I entered an old burn area and the downfall was worse. I think many of these trees fell last night in the storm. Usually there are broken branches where other hikers have gone through or around. Not this time. Plus there was debris of smaller branches all over. There were no comments about the downfall on the Guthook app which also makes me think this was a very recent event. It was a mess. It was slow.
There was no flat area to camp and I didn’t want to be around so many trees ready to fall.
I finally got to the spring and got more water. I was running out of daylight. And energy. I finally found a flattish space safe from falling trees where I pitched my tent. By using my pack and all other stuff propped under the downhill side of my sleeping pad I was flat enough.
The last 6 miles took me 6.5 hours!
My payoff is one of the best views of all campsites on this hike. I’m beat up. My shins are bruised and bleeding. My pants are covered in soot from climbing over the burned trees. I haven’t been this tired in a long time. I was too tired to even eat dinner