Cowboying on a windy ridge (PCT mi 691.7), walked 35.5 miles today
Weather today was _perfect_ almost the whole time, in stark contrast to every other day for the past week, so walking all day was finally an option. 35, I found out, is probably about the max I can do without night-hiking, which I'm sick of and will avoid as much as possible ... Today I was walking by 6, didn't take many breaks, and set up camp right at sunset, and it's June 10, so there's a ton of daylight. Personally can't squeeze much more into a day than that.
Broke camp at 6 and got some really beautiful mountain scenery in the morning with just a whiff of the Sierra, with white granite and craggy peaks. Only about 10,000-foot summits though compared to 13 and 14. Highlight of the day came when a bear visited the place I'd planned on taking lunch ... Babyface had already told us this same bear stole his trail mix an hour earlier, and there was a note on the trail about how it liked to hang around the water source and harass people. It was tiny, like 100lb max, but it wasn't afraid to walk right up to the 5 people all standing there yelling at it. It did some bluff charges, which really scared certain members of our party. It didn't seem to like having rocks thrown at it. It was slow and mangy and undersized and I wondered if it's going to survive the summer without thru-hiker food bags as a food source. If it does make it to adulthood, it's going to be a mean bastard because it clearly already doesn't give a shit about approaching humans.
Not much to say about the hiking other than that it was nice and I was alone most of the time, although I kept briefly seeing other people. Met a Flemish Belgian lady who passionately hates the king, which is funny because all Natalia (Walloon) ever talked about was how much everyone respects him. Met a South African girl and of course the first thing I blurted out was whether she liked Die Antwoord. I told her this was the only South African music I know, which seemed to upset her. Caught up to Rubadub and Gehaz the Gangster just at the end of the hike, we found this rather underwhelming camp spot for all three of us, plus Sneaks and Babyface, who showed up later. It's on an exposed, windy ridge in the middle of a massive hideous burnt area, which is an appropriate way to close out the desert. Kennedy Meadows ten short miles away tomorrow morning.