I was up, bright and early. With plans to get as close to The Old Station (a restaurant and gas station near an important intersection) I pushed up the only hill of the day which consisted of 500 feet of elevation gain... That's it.
Around 9 miles for the day, I stopped for a small snack and refilled my water at one of two very large lakes. Together they make up the Twin Lakes of this area. While refilling, I had an eerie sense that something was watching me. I didn't know it at the time, but a few hikers left Drakesbad last night and had camped at these lakes and had major issues with a black bear all night long. If you remember from yesterdays post, this was the area I was wanting to camp, had I left yesterday evening.
Without seeing anything in the area, I moved along quickly, checking my six every few minutes. Eventually I calmed down and tried to settle into a rhythm. I was on the second, of few noticeable flat sections on the PCT. Without any elevation gain, you'd think I'd be able to hike 25 to 30 miles. But I was never really able to find a rhythm, in fact the slight downhill the trail had seemed to make my legs and feet ache.
Nearing the 20 mile mark, the trail walked along a large river for a short distance and had a few very nice campsites. Though early in the day, roughly 4:00 pm, I stopped early and relaxed around camp, eating dinner and soaking my legs/feet multiple times in the cold river water.