Somehow, we got through our day yesterday relatively unscathed, but unfortunately we were in for even worse today. The weather turned very cold overnight again, and since I had "cowboy camped" without my tent, I woke up to a coating of frost on my sleeping bag. When Shyla and I hit the trail in the more and were descending toward Mica Lake, we were happy to cross a clearing with plenty of morning sunshine, and we stopped to soak up some of the warmth and get prepared for what was coming.
And not all of it was what I was expecting, which were more terrible trees and some really scary moments getting through them. To add insult to injury, at one point as we were working our way around a blockage on the trail, we managed to step into a wasp nest, and both Shyla and I got stung several times.
But on the upside, we also had some really nice company to help us get through this tough spot. I've been keeping pace with a couple of different hikers, one of whom is a very charismatic Brit with a wicked sense of humor with the trail name of Nana (after his many stories featuring his beloved grandmother). It was great to have his companionship and his wit to keep me grounded during some of the worst parts of the day, and just to have his help as we sawed our way through some trees too. One of the best things about this second ride is the fact that I am able to make some friends this time around; we're traveling in the same direction and at the same time as many of the hikers, unlike last time when I was way ahead of most of them due to my time constraints. I've even re-encountered some people that I first met during my southern California sections, after which I jumped around a lot while they continued straight through. But now once again we are together, finishing up our PCT journey, and it is a wonderful feeling to know that I have a connection to others who are facing the same things that I am facing out here and are willing to lend a hand, or a shoulder to cry on, or just a friendly smile when I need it most.