Hike Distance: 10.6 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 916.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 1105 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 94750 feet
This was our first attempt this year at providing some trail magic on the PCT. We knew this would be a crowded day on most trails so we decided to hike from Timothy Lake into the Warm Springs Reservation. This portion of the PCT always provided solitude, but NOT today.
The hike started nicely when we walked south under the PCT sign. My wife called my attention to a sign that stated today there was a 50 mile race on the PCT. We were already here so we decided to hike as planned. At first, we only saw a few people pass us, and asked some questions about the race. Evidently, there were 200 trail runners, and the first 30 miles were heading north (15 out and 15 back) followed by 20 miles south (10 miles out and 10 back) on the PCT.
As the hike progressed, the frequency of runners would ebb and flow, but never let up. It was getting very disruptive to our hike, having to step off the trail so often. Most of the trail runners were very kind but some were a bit rude. Only a few of the runners warned us they were coming and so we spent much of the hike looking around.
We hiked southbound for just over 5 miles, at which point there was a first aid station for the runners. It was like a big rowdy loud party but the people were friendly. Not that I expected it, but it was a very hot day and I thought they might even offer us a drink of water (not that I would have taken it) but nothing was mentioned.
The 5 mile hike back was no different from that outbound. Constant disruption of our hike with friendly people but complete lack of any trail etiquette! Many of the runners acted like it was our responsibility to get out of their way, and I was a bit offended. To my knowledge they didn’t have right of way but we kindly stepped out of the way with each runner, and wished them a good run. Some of them kindly wished us a good hike also.
In addition to this race, we didn’t see one PCT section or thru-hiker the entire day! We’ll never hike a trail, that has a race on it, again. 😦 I guess not every hike will be a winner.