Day 59 - Scarce Water - June 3

I slept through the timer and woke up at 5:45, but we had a record getting ready time of 35 minutes. I don't know how we did it.

We hiked a few miles, had breakfast. Ian had to choke down his plain oatmeal. When we got up, just around the corner, there was trail magic! Here we were eating oatmeal like chumps! We still had room for oranges, Crush soda, cinnamon rolls. A girl accidentally flipped the entire container of cinnamon rolls in the dirt. We all just stared at them and then Ropeburn took action, grabbing most of them out of the dirt and attempting to wipe them off. He wasn't going to let those calories go to waste.

We hiked downhill to Kelso Valley Road. There was a very angry rattlesnake right next to the trail, rattled in a bush. I couldn't see him at all. Someone later said he was in a hole with just his rattle sticking out. Most of them run away when you approach, so this one was odd. We went around, going up and then down on a very steep slope with loose sand.

At Kelso Valley Road, there was more trail magic! Bill and Margie from LA had mint limeade, oranges, cinnamon rolls, brownies, vegetables and dip, flatbread, chips and salsa, pretzels, Gatorade and soda. They also had trail reports from the Sierra. It sounds rough up there, it makes me nervous. They also told me a little more about the vortex that is Kennedy Meadows. As we sat there, a van pulled up and stopped at the trail. A guy came out and started checking the water. A-Game asked if he needed help and we all pitched in to help put water out. There was around 130 gallons of capacity here, but it was mostly empty before he showed up. Even these large caches can run out quickly if everyone who comes through refills their water here. Most of that 130 gallons had been used in the last day, and we're not even in the bubble. I actually had plenty of water for the next stretch, but I did grab some limeade to go. So good.

Trail Magic from Bill and Margie!
It was starting to really heat up, but at least there was a good breeze. There was a small uphill away from the road and then it was downhill to the next water source, Willow Springs.

The water I had got on my camera yesterday was making it misbehave, so I removed the battery and kept it off today.

To get down to Willow Springs, we had to hike down a gully. It had two scrambles, one was 10 feet down. I do not like climbing, so I wasn't comfortable with going down with my backpack on. Ian went down with his backpack and I handed mine to him. At the water faucet, people were lounging in all the available shade. There wasn't much room in the shade, so I had the idea to make our own shade using our ground cloth, a tree and my trekking poles. It worked pretty well. We did some trail laundry while we were there.

Our makeshift shade.
Happy to be together!
We hiked back up by the dirt road, which cuts off about a mile of the PCT, but we had no intention of backtracking. We talked to Jacob and Adam at the picnic table at the top and ate our dinner there. Night fell as we continued our hike. An abandoned bus, jalopy, concrete structure and oil pump were littered alongside the trail. A kangaroo rate crossed my path as I led, going to the left and looking at us. It was so cute with its long tail and big eyes. Shortly after, we saw a little mouse. Large, jagged rock formations loomed out of the dark on our right, with a valley below. I imagined coyotes howling at the tops, but saw none. We cowboy camped near one of the rock formations with the half full moon shining down. I found that my original blister had small friends around it.

Ian finds a hole in the trail.

Desert sunset


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