Mile 2007.8 to 2032.2 for 24.4 miles with an elevation gain of 4679 feet and decrease of 5557 feet. Camp was by a small stream in a burn area .2 miles north of Russell Creek, elevation 4679 feet. We were hiking at 6:30 and into camp at 6:50. It was a cold night and subsequently cold day. Winds were out of the NW until about 2:30. I wore my wind shirt, hat and gloves barely staying warm enough. Our hike was mostly through last years burn and we constantly kicked up ash all day. Our tent site may be the dirtiest to date. Skies were smokey to the south and east but clear for us. However, we did have a cloudy overcast. We were able to rock hop the notoriously difficult crossing of Russell Creek. Unfortunately, a horse recently lost its life at this crossing and its carcass remains in the creek. Seeing the horse was very upsetting. What we have heard is the ground gave way and the horse and rider tumbled into the creek. The horse broke all its legs and had to be shot; the rider also had broken legs and was airlifted out. It was quite distressing seeing the horse and I hope something is done to improve the trail at this location. There are many sections of the PCT that are narrow and have soft shoulders; more so in California than Oregon. We have often wondered how a horse would be able to navigate safely. Russell Creek seems particularly difficult for horses. The PCT is a hiker and equestrian trail. So sad to have encountered two horse incidents this year.
We met “Yep Yep” from Leavenworth, WA and a woman who recognized us from our blog and follows it. We are unsure what happened to Squeeze, Jam, Milkshake, Princess, Tinkles, and Cowboy since they normally hike faster than us and were camped close to us last night. We are hoping that it does not rain tonight since it will make quite a mess. We do note that our water source is charcoal filtered!