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Friday, June 27, 2014

It's real out there.

Day 3 6/15
Mileage 7

If yesterday was a big day, today was two. It began by learning that my hiking partner Julia has decided to postpone her hike. She wasn't crazy about the idea of hiking in snow, and I don't blame her. She plans to wait until July and start then, avoiding the bulk of the snow and general sketchiness.

The next significant event was my first real PCT woods poop. I then psyched myself up for some power hiking to catch the group, and was surprised to find them only about a mile later. Buzzkill had fallen about 20 feet down a slope and hit a tree. He was bleeding from the head and may have a few broken ribs (I was to learn later that he did indeed break four ribs). For someone with a trail name like Buzzkill, he certainly maintained a positive attitude. We waited around for probably five hours for a helicopter to arrive. He got lifted out by the army in a Blackhawk, which earned him a new trail name: Blackhawk Down. Ned, who had spearheaded the treatment and been in contact with search and rescue, chose to remain with his patient, and left in the helicopter. I pushed on afterward with Mr. Ze and Donald. I learned that it's Donald's birthday! Happy birthday, Donald! We made some serious time through some gorgeous terrain. The weather was screwy. It seemed to be cycling through all four seasons on 15-minute intervals. It finally cleared up, providing us with sweeping vistas of this incredible mountain range I haven't really seen much of yet. Knee was better. I've decided to abandon the whiny, obnoxious injury angle and see my knee as just an overworked little guy who's just doing his best. I'm putting it through a lot and I'll try my best to accommodate. When we made it down to camp, we caught up with Mark and Michael, two super chill dudes who blitzed past us earlier today. I am content with the way my body has been holding up. Z and Donald make great hiking partners. They're both super attentive to the others in our group, and are both very nice and considerate. I look forward to hiking with them tomorrow.

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