Mile 77 to 94.4
Elevation: ascent 3,438 ft, descent 1,392 ft
We woke up this morning in a warm room and both felt super rested. To our amaze Julian had gotten about 4-6 inches of fresh snow last night. Can’t tell you how good we felt about our decision to get a room. We figured the day might consist of a fair amount of snow, but more on that later. We got a ride back to scissors crossing at 8:00 from Johnny and his wife. Super nice couple who have been shuttling PCT hikers all over. We got dropped off at 8:45 and were off hiking where we left off yesterday. We dropped about 2,000 feet in elevation from Julian so there wasn’t any snow on the trail. The trail is on he east side of the valley which didn’t get any snow like in Julian. We had hoped for some snow to contrast the dessert scene we hiked in all day.
The plants that survive in the desert out here are pretty damn resilient dealing with huge swings of temps, wind and lack of moisture. It’s pretty crazy to see how beautiful they can be though as it appears we might be ready for the wild flowers to pop. We saw a big variety of cactus and other desert plants all armed with their thorns ready to snag your shirt or pants as you walk past.
Today felt like a treadmill most of the day. The reason, well we walked 17.4 miles but we only got a view of scissors crossing where we had started the day. So we knew we were making progress but it was hard to see when it didn’t feel like you were getting away from where you started, hence the treadmill reference.
This section we are hiking is about 30 miles of dry desert. There are no running creeks or springs to get water from. So you have two choices; one you carry enough water to get you through 30 miles or, two you have help. Thankfully we have some amazing trail angles along the way to make life easier for hikers. We don’t know who stocked it, but someone drives out pallets of water, that they purchase on their own, to a very remote spot. This one is called the 3rd Gate water cache and it is about half way through the 30 mile section making it much easier for hikers to handle this harsh environment. These people don’t ask for anything they just do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Makes you realize there are some really caring people in this world. We couldn’t leave though without giving a donation. Maybe they can use it to get more water for other hikers in the future.
After adding an additional 5-7 pounds of water to already heavy packs from our recent resupply. We headed toward our intended camp site 3 miles away and all up hill. Not exactly what we would hope for. We got to camp at about 5:40 and met 3 new hikers we hadn’t seen yet, Hot Cheeks, Noodles and PI. We might get to know them more tomorrow if we hike with them. Tonight’s spot has a beautiful view of the ridge line across the valley and seems very well protected. So here is to a good nights rest. Thanks for reading.