Well, we made it to Mile 91 (Third Gate), 18 miles past where we woke up, but it wasn’t easy. It was actually really hard.
It started out good. I woke up with no muscle soreness whatsoever. How is that even possible? The human body is amazing. With almost no water, we flew down the first four miles by 0830. Then the fun began.
First, we spent a good hour wandering around the bed of San Filipe Creek looking for water before we realized it was upstream of the bridge. That was probably two extra miles. Good thing our packs were light.
There was a fellow hiker there at Scissors Crossing who was waiting to be picked up by a friend. He was nice enough to give us a sip of water and take some of my trash! I hadn’t finished my Mountain House dinner last night, and was carrying a one pound, potentially messy bag of food that I was very happy to get rid of. Thanks, Man!
We did finally find wonderful little stream and quickly filled up our bottles. I’ve decided not to use caches, and I don’t trust that there is water in the cistern at MP 91.2, so that meant a 24-mile carry. And it’s hot! And we can see the trail switching up this horribly exposed mountain. I decide to load up with 8.5 liters (18.6 pounds).
We headed up the mountain and had 9 miles done by noon. But the trail just kept going up and up and there was no shade, no place to rest. It was pretty hideously ugly too. Whatever charms this landscape had, it lost after the fire. With no place to stop, there was really nothing to do but keep walking until we got to here.
We were really limping coming into camp, using our trekking poles to hold us up. Turns out I do get blisters after all. I have one on the left outside of each heel. Probably because the trail was slightly sloped to the left all day. And my feet HURT. I don’t think they liked that water weight at all.
Naturally, there is a famous water cache here that appearently is well stocked and everyone else is using it. We’ll see how long my purity lasts.
So, I’m totally exhausted and my face is covered with an amazing amount of salt (probably the rest of me too), but I’m thinking we can rally tomorrow for a nice easy 18 into Warner Springs for a well-deserved zero. I hope the Lodge is open. I think they have a pool!