I set my pack down, as I'll do a dozen times a day. Off the edge of the trail, lay the rocky floor, several thousand feet below. The slope was steep enough that no one would walk towards the bottom without a purpose.
And today, I had purpose.
Reaching for my camera case, I knocked my bag over sideways. My stuff sack, which lives at the the top of my bag, next to my camera case, rolled out...
My stuff sack has a pair of sweatpants, waterproof socks, underarmour shirt, among other things. This suff sack is critical for the cold weather which I'm currently experiencing (last night's low was 27 F).
This stuff sack gets a 10 foot jump on me down the slope towards the rocky bottom.
"No, no, no!"
I can't lose this bag. I've worn these sweatpants and extra pairs of socks along with all my outer layers many nights so far just to stay warm enough to sleep (my allegedly 20 degree quilt is a 40 degree quilt AT BEST).
I drop whatever was in my hands and bolt down this slope.
One hundred feet, that's as far as this stuff sack has to roll to be gone forever.
Sidestep sprinting, I'm gaining on the accelerating stuff sack.
My instinct after forty feet of slope was to try one last stitch effort, a feet first baseball slide.
But as I'm about to hit the dirt I get just close enough to grab the sack.
Walking back to my bag I felt accomplished; that could've seriously complicated matters, the next town was still 75 miles away.
Unfortunately there was a lost item on the day. Later down the trail I realized my fuel cannister was missing. Either the cannister rolled away, or in the excitement of the moment I left it behind.
Until Agua Dulce I'll be boiling water the old fashioned way.
PCT Mile 394.