Miles 47.5 to 66
Total mileage 18.5 + 1 mile off trail
A beautiful ridge walk today overlooking the desert floor, which appeared very hot and dry. Didn’t help that the forecast was 90* but up on the shadeless, scrubby ridge my thermometer read closer to 100*.
We met some new hikers which felt good, but I hatched a crazy plan in which we quit hiking the PCT and road tripped around the country all summer instead. I had visions of us in pools, sharing coffee at a local diner, hiking and camping in the best campgrounds. I spent a lot of the morning and afternoon using the “Q” word and trying to convince Josh to abandon our stupid hiking the entire country plan.
12 miles in we met a day hiker named Debby who said the magic words, “Would you guys like ice cream?!” She laughed when our eyes lit up. She even carried out the trash for us! Trail magic is really special.
At mile 59.5 we came up on a little water detour which I had been looking forward to all day. Water was a little short this day and we had our first “dry camp” (camping with no water source) coming up that night. We decided to take a siesta at the water cistern for a couple hours to camel up and maybe wait out the heat of the day in some shade. We’d also cook “dinner” there so we didn’t have to walk with that water on our backs. We chased the shade around the cistern for a couple hours laying in pools of sweat and finally made biscuits and gravy for lunch (for the record, favorite trail meal ever!). The cistern was looked pretty green and gross and was an actual horse trough, but I found a secret hose on the side with fresh clean water.
Josh was bored after two hours in the shade so we took off with six liters of water each aiming for mile 64. Passed a couple cowboys on horses who warned us of rattlers on the trail, but we didn’t see any. Also ran into Randy who was going to try to night hike since he was short on water. I didn’t feel too bad for him since we all have access to the same information but Josh felt pretty awful about not offering him any water. Made it to our camp spot at 430 which seemed too early to call it quits, so we kept hiking to mile 66 where we found a tiny little spot all on our own and enjoyed snacks for dinner: a medley of cheese crisps from Trader Joes, m&ms, salami log, pork rinds and freeze dried strawberries.