Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 5- 101 Miles

Mile 101 at Barrel Springs
Another bad night of sleep.  There was a lot of wind.  It was blowing one tent wall on top of me all night.  I woke up at one point with mist landing on my face.  The tent got damp, and it would get my bag damp whenever the wind blew the tent on to me.  I had be very flat to be dry.  I did sleep some, at least enough to have some funky dreams.  Lately I've felt like I should keep a PCT dream journal.  I woke up at 5:30 and it was still misting with the occasional drizzle thrown in.  I packed up quick with nothing in the usual spot, grabbed some water, and started up Grapevine Mountain.
A brief sunny moment on a misty filled morning
I stopped a lot at first-there was this beautiful rainbow spanning the valley.  It seemed like every five minutes there was a better view of the rainbow.  They are hard things to photograph, but I think I ended up with a few good shots.  I thought of the rainbow as my silver lining for staying at the bridge.  I don't think last night would have been pleasant up on the mountain.
I saw my second rattle snake of the trip so far.  I saw my first on day 2.  It was a baby coiled up next to the trail.  It had a beautiful black and white pattern and only one rattle on its tail.  Today's snake was much larger and stretched out the width of the trail.  I used my trekking poles to make noise in the bushes next to him to make him move.
Scissor's Crossing to the 3rd Gate Cache is supposed to be a brutal section-not because of the terrain, but there was no shade, no water for 14 miles, and it is usually in the 90's this time of year.  It was in the 50's this morning.  I hiked fast to stay warm and arrived at the 3rd gate around 12:30.  I still had most of the water I started the day with so I didn't take any from the cache.  It's a feat that the trail angels can pack in so much water for the hikers.  I just don't know how they do it.
Trail magic at Barrel Springs at mile 101
After the cache it was only 9 miles until the next water source and my end point for the day.  I hiked those miles with Tommy.  It's nice to have company.  It's strange, even though the area is really beautiful it fades a little into the background.  We over looked the same valley for 18 or so miles today-that's something the AT wouldn't do.  There's still plenty to look at with the cacti and other pokey desert life, but having company was nice. 
We passed the 100 mile mark without even knowing it.  That was a little disappointing.  But we made it to camp at mile 101 to find sodas in the spring and cookies in a shopping bag hanging in a tree.  It was a long day with 24 miles.  Looking forward to a good night's sleep (there are peepers in the spring) and some time off over my long weekend.

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