I'm not sure that it actually was my best day on the PCT. I had some great days earlier, but this one has a better story with it than my previous great days on the trail.
My first two days in Washington, my feet hurt so bad I started to wonder if I could finish the PCT. On my third day, the pain backed off enough that I finally had confidence I could finish. Immediately, that made me feel better.
As I was taking a break, along came Dairy Queen, who I met in Oregon and hiked the Eagle Creek alternate with. The two of us fell into another easy and enjoyable conversation as we hiked together towards a creek where we planned to get water.
At the water source, I saw someone who I had hoped I would see since I started Oregon: Panini. I met Panini in Tehachapi thinking that I had nothing in common with this tatted up Aussie. When I saw him next in Sierra City, we hiked together off and on up to Mt. Shasta and I found him to be one of the most intelligent and deepest thinking people I met. I hadn't seen him since then and really wanted to.
As Panini and his hiking partner Josh were heading South to make it back to Cascade Locks for Trail Days, I had to say goodbye and hope they could catch me before I reached Manning Park (didn't happen). Meanwhile, Dairy Queen decided to only hike 20 mile days (those are still long days by the way) for Washington so he could finish on his birthday, so he decided to camp near that creek as I moved on.
I passed four Swiss people who called themselves the Old Coyotes 255 (255 is their combined ages). Earlier I met a couple of them in Oregon and they seemed extremely nice, but our hiking paces were radically different.
Once again, I was low on food (seemed like a constant ever since I made it to Kennedy Meadows), so when I saw a big garbage can full of food, I happily sat down and started eating. A Buddhist monastery nearby kept that garbage can full for us thru hikers.
Garbage can full of food!
Before I could finish, the Old Coyotes came up and joined me. We started talking and by the time our conversation ended, I decided that I strongly needed to consider moving to Switzerland as if they are an example of Swiss people, I want to be there. As they got ready to head to Trout Lake, I told them, "I want to be like you when I'm your age."
One of the ladies responded, "Oh, you will be! You've already started. It's like an illness...an addiction." That has been my inspiring quote used to explain my CYTC obsession. Even thinking of that moment as I type this up with a sprained ankle that prevents me from doing much, I still take comfort in that quote.
I didn't want to go into Trout Lake anymore, and got back on the trail. In the evening, I came across another familiar face, Easy. I didn't know that was his name until Manning Park when I talked about him with others. I called him Grumpy Old Man and met him near Sonora Pass.
Grumpy Old Man was at the peak of his grumpiness and my cheerful attitude did nothing to cheer him up. However, since I get a kick out of grumpy old men, I enjoyed my conversation with him and moved on letting him finish his dinner in peace.
I found my campsite at the base of Mt. Adams as the sunset. Mt. Adams lit up in full alpenglow capping off an amazing day on the trail.
Mt. Adams from camp