Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Day 10-Sprung a Leak

I dreamt of rattle snakes last night.  When I woke up I checked over my area.  All clear.  I woke up the others at 5:20 and I left solo at 5:50.  I haven't hiked alone in awhile so it was nice.  There were thick clouds in the valley that looked magical in the early light.

I walked through a lot of the fog on my way to the first landmark of the day-a highway with water a mile off trail.  For the first half of that stretch I walked with my Camelbak leaking water down my leg and nothing was coming through the tube when I tried to drink.  I finally stopped and poured the remaining water into one of my other bottles.  I had less than a liter left when I hit the road and thankfully someone had left water there for the hikers. 

After the road the trail went up.  The section today and tomorrow has some of the steepest and highest trail in this section (early Southern CA).  I thought it was really beautiful trail.  It was mixed terrain:  massive sugar pines with cacti growing near by, trail skirting rocky ledges, and even a few swampy looking springs.  And to top it off, it wasn't hot.  Everybody still took breaks in the shade, but I didn't feel like I was melting in between shade breaks.

Just after noon Tommy and I came to our next water source.  It's never as easy as grabbing a couple of bottles and filling up.  We always check our maps, guide book, and water report to see where the next water is, is it flowing, and is it before camp, and if not, how soon is water after camp.  The idea is to bring just enough to go from one source to the next.  To have extra is poor planning and a waste of energy.  Not enough and that can be dangerous.  Thru-hiking is a lot about balance.  This time water was off trail a third mile-downhill of course, but it was flowing great when we got there.  I filled up and washed my face with my bandana for the first time since Sunday.  It was wonderful even if the water smelled (and tasted) like sulfur.

Back on trail I noticed my other water bottle had sprung a leak.  So now I can only carry a liter and a half-there have been times when I've carried four liters.   But it was lunch time in the sparse shade.  There were many people chilling at the trail junction.  A lot of hikers take long breaks in the afternoon.  This was one of the first times I did that.  It was great to lie back against my pack and have lunch, the snack, then more snack while talking with other hikers.  I finally got up at 3-I was worried I'd eat all of tomorrow's snacks if I didn't go.  That left me five miles in the afternoon.

Myself and Little Dipper before the serious winds
Those five miles were blow you around windy.  At first it felt good being cooled, then it felt like being bettered by the wind.   Little Dipper and Jake and Tommy and I stuck together for the last three miles.   We arrived at the spring where we wanted to camp and went the quarter mile off trail and off the ridge for the spring and hopefully a less windy place to camp.  We were disappointed on both counts.  The spring was two drips a minute into a troth full of stagnant warm water with dead bugs floating.  And the whole thing was on the hill.  We each took a liter of warm water to cook with and went back to the trail.

Me, Jake, Little Dipper, and Tommy

Cloud formations from camp
There's not much natural shelter from wind here.  It's not going to be a pleasant night.  I have my tent weighted with rocks but it's flapping like crazy.  I need to work on turning it into soothing white noise in my mind.  It's also see your breathe cold.  I did have a filling hot meal and a cook pot of (nasty water) hot chocolate.  I just need to hunker down in my sleeping bag, try not to roll down the slope I'm on, and hope my tent doesn't blow away.

No comments:

Post a Comment