Day 5 – 4/26/16
Mile 77.3 Scissors Crossing to 101.15
Total miles: 23.85
Last night was exactly what I needed. Being able to ice and elevate my knee helped so much. I didn’t have a single twinge of knee pain today. Also got do some minor work on my feet. Spending the evening with Tyler, Rusty, and Neema was great. Just wish I could spend more time with them more but they don’t go as far as me and Tyler is spending a few days in San Diego with a friend to rest his knees.
I woke up at 6 and got all my things packed up and slipped out of the little apartment at 6:45. I walked up to the main street and stuck out my thumb. By the time I got to the end where there was a coffee shop or a breakfast place a guy offered to give me a ride. His name was Bruce and he does little section hikes of the PCT. I put my pack in the car and got in but noticed he took the wrong road. He thought I was going some where else and he wasn’t going in the direction I needed to be turned around and dropped me back off. Darn!
So I walked to the road I needed to go down and stuck my thumb out at all the passing cars. Unfortunately 90% of them were going to the high school on the other side of the road. So I walked further down the road so I wasn’t constantly sticking my thumb out. About 30 minutes pass and no luck. Then I see a girl walking down the road towards me with a pack. Just my luck! A ride bride! It’s always easier to get a hitch for guys if there is a girl with them.
We stand there for about 10 minutes without any luck. I see a Chevy truck turn onto the road and I say “this is the one, I can feel it.” Right after I say it the blinker turns on and she pulls off to the side. Huzzah!
A lady and her son, who is about 3, picked us up. Her son had a plush Yoda doll and was explaining how he liked Yoda and Chewbacca and that the Empire is bad. Was pretty funny. The lady, whose name I can’t remember now, was very nice and told us how they just moved to Julian and love it there. She said her neighbor helps out PCT hikers so she decided to help out too and stop to give rides when she sees us smelly homeless looking backpackers.
At 8:10 I got back on the trail. I was way past ready to start hiking. Right away the trail goes by an underpass bridge for the same road that goes to Julian. I saw a little charcoal grill and water bottles. Wouldn’t be a bad place to have stayed it seemed. Right after the underpass the trail heads along the road for awhile and then you cross highway 78. Let me just tell you that asphalt is hard! How the hell did I user to run on it? The trail dirt is like walking on pillows by comparison. The trail then begins a long climb up a mountain with so many switchbacks. 4 miles of hiking and it didn’t seem like I had gone anywhere I could still see the road and the place I hitched from.
Finally the trail followed around the mountain. It was a very brown and desert style mountain. Then a flat desert floor where you could see a road. On the other side was another mountain but it was green with trees and bushes. Can I be on that one please? The first 13 miles of the day was all the same. Switchbacks and snaking around the side of this mountain range. Every once in awhile military helicopters would fly by. One time I saw a jet fly by and then a minute later I heard it. That was pretty cool.
At mile 91ish there is a water cache which is 0.25 miles off trail. I went down and got some water and tried to decide on how far I wanted to go. The guides said there were small campsites but only room for a tent. Or I could go another 10 to the next water source and nice area for camping. It was 2 pm and I’m averaging about just over 2.5 mph. So it would be another 4 hours of hiking.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard Eye of the Tiger start to play. I filled up with 2.5 liters of water, dumped some Gatorade powder in a bottle, shouldered my pack and took off. And immediately stopped a quarter mile in to talk to a girl I hadn’t seen since the first day. I was surprised to see her and do we caught up for about 15 minutes. Then I set off for real.
The trail after the water cache finally changed scenery and was in some green. So that was nice.
The first 6 miles after the water was all up Hill. It was a steady climb and wasn’t that bad. Finally it defended and would the rest of the day.
Looks like rain
I was about to pull out my phone to see how close I was to mile 100 when I turned the corner and bam there it was!
It was only another mile to the campsite. I rolled in around 6 and was happy to see people I know. I ate some dinner, dehydrated refried beans and fritos. Then I got in my tent and was out. Today was a good day. Tomorrow is Warner Springs which is only 9 miles away and then I’m taking the rest of the day off.