Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 30- 1 Month 500 Miles

Red Carpet Cashe at mile 486 to Pine Canyon Creek Road at 511

I woke up at 5:15 to a half empty camp.  I don't know how this group gets up so early.  I felt like I could sleep a few hours more, but that sun was already peaking into the sky.  It was a cold morning though.  It warmed up fast, of course.  I'd say by 6:30 the chill to the air was gone.

Near the top of the first uphill of the day I met up with P-Tracks who had just finished his breakfast. Right behind me was John Wayne, Karata Kid, Cool Ranch, and El Capiton. We hiked in a group for a bit in the hunt for shade and found some at a jeep road.

While we were standing there, much to our surprise, we were joined by four other hikers that had left Casa de Luna before us the day before.  Now we set off as an even bigger herd-this time on a hunt for water.  We had only gone six miles, so I was still had plenty of water.  Good thing too, because the first of the guzzler tanks of water was gross.  It was three miles to the next one.

Three slow miles with a gnat cloud around my face the whole time.  That reminded me of the AT.  They would land on my cheeks and nose and on my sunglass lens.  None got into my eyes thanks to the sunglasses.  Beyond the gnat cloud I could see where the trail was taking me-the Mojave Desert was waiting.

At the water tank I filled up two liters and drank most of what I had already.  I also had a second breakfast-it is try to eat down the food bag day. Its still to heavy for resupplying tomorrow.

The next five miles to water had more desert views and more gnats-very much like the miles before it.  Those miles also had the 500 mile mark.  There's been a lot of talk about when we will get the first glimps of the Sierras.  At 500 miles they seem much more real than they did at mile 100.

At the next water there was a tank that was filled by water collected from the roof above it.  The roof was about four feet above the ground, the tank was sunk into the ground, and hikers surrounded the tank lounging in the shade.  I got there at 1 and I was there long enough to have lunch, take a nap, have two snacks, and then migrate to a different patch of shade for about 20 more minutes.  It was a great three hour break.

Then it was time for eight more miles.  The trail went through a wooded meadow.  It looked like a place that should have swings hanging from tree boughs and paper lanterns strung from tree to tree.  It was very peaceful and cool in there.

From the ridge going down I could see the pond that was my end point for the day.  It looked like a little swampy pond.  The water report said it smelled like rotting leaves-I could hardly wait to drink a liter. The water report also said the pond was hard to get to and the better bet was to go to the road just after it, go down the road 100 yards and get water from a stream there.  I ended up following those directions and had no problem getting water there.

I did have a little trouble finding somewhere to camp.  The trail entered unto private property after the road and the maps say no camping.  I found a mostly flat spot for camp.  I had a good dinner and then probably the best pot of hot chocolate I've had on the trail yet.  At the Saufley's I traded Clutch a Snickers for some dried full fat milk and I put a tablespoon in my hot chocolate.  Fantastic.

1 comment:

  1. More great adventures. This is the definition of "roughing it". Can't believe it's been 500 miles; and as you progress, it's like watching a movie... as you get into the desert and beyond. Some trip!