17.7 miles (miles 77 – 94.7)
Scissors Crossing – PCT mile 94.7
We are cowboy camping (no tent) for the first time… on a ledge 94.7 miles into this trip. What a day!
Adam dropped us off at Scissors Crossing and we hit the trail at 7:15am. We hoofed it pretty good all morning and had 9 miles in by 10:30. We saw a lot of new types of cacti and plants so we stopped to take a lot of photos.
Oh! We also saw 2 rosy boas around 9am. They’re really cool-looking snakes and much calmer than the rattlers.
Today was all about water and dealing with heat. It was in the 90’s out here in the San Felipe hills, the sun was at least twice as intense as our hottest day yet, and we were hiking on exposed ridges with little to no shade. It was really challenging. But we made it through…
…thanks to a water cache.
It’s kind of pounded into our heads not to count on the water caches in case they’re empty. (A water cache is when some awesome trail angel(s) drops gallons of water in helpful places for hikers to drink.) This particular stretch had a cache 13 miles in. The next water source after that is another 9.9 miles. We cameled up before leaving and found ourselves drinking way more than we thought we would… and that made us nervous. We really needed more.
We hiked the extra .4 miles downhill to the cache hoping there’d be some there. There was. A lot, too. We met one other hiker there at first – Whitney Houston. He let us join him in the tiny bit of shade under a tree. It was 1:30 when we got there, so we just stayed through the heat of the day and rehydrated ourselves. A few other hikers showed up, too. We all took off around 4pm.
We made it about 4 more miles and found the smallest patch of flat right alongside the trail for camp. Then Whitney and Jenna showed up, and they’re sharing our camp with us. It’s a tight squeeze, but we managed pretty well. It’s fun camping with other hikers.
As a result from this brutal day, I ended with a new, very tender but small heel blister, and a nasty sun/heat rash. My calves got it the worst. It’s red and stingy, but it’ll go away after a while. I’ve had it before… it’s just quite annoying.
So in the end, today was really hard, but the challenge felt good. We’re happy after eating a Knorr noodle side with Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) and oreos for dessert. And as I type this, I’m lying in my sleeping bag watching constellations come into view. I love this life!
A couple sidestories from me and Rachel during a maybe-semi-delusional, slightly dehydrated and overheated state:
So there was no shade anywhere to be found… but just around the next bend was this cave. It was 20º cooler in there. There was a waterfall, too. With salmon jumping in it. And bears eating the salmon. Nice bears. Care bears, in fact. And the cave had popsicle icicles hanging from the ceiling. The photos wouldn’t upload for some reason… darnit!
We felt like zombies marching down the trail the last 3 miles to the water cache… I mean the brains cache.
So… anyway, in all seriousness, we are hydrated and feeling good. Those were just a couple of examples of some of the weird crap we make up as we hike. Hope you enjoyed a little look into our crazy! :)
P.S. To whomever is stocking that water cache… ohmygosh THANK YOU! I think that seriously, possibly saves lives out here. You are amazing, and we are very grateful!