March 15, Day 5
PCT Mile 68.4. Rodriguez Spring Road
Wind wind wind.
I had a rough nights sleep last night, yet again. The wind blew most of the night and even though I staked out my tent well, it flapped a good deal of the night. I slept on and off until about mindnight, at which point, I was wide awake. After about 45 minutes of staring at the ceiling of my tent, I decided to take half ambien. Sleep was still fitful, and now full of dreams.
I awoke at 6am with quite a start after having a very vivid dream about Brian and I separating. oh good. I guess it’s time to go hiking.
I watched the sunrise over a cup of coffee and some oatmeal. It was quite beautiful. The beauty quickly turned to savage fury however. Once the sun came up the wind began gusting, It made it hell to tear everything down. In the haste of getting getting my tent taken day vefore it was blown away, I didn’t realize I had left my sunglasses inside.
I didn’t realize it in fact until I had shoved my pack full and was ready to leave. I pulled my tent out to retrieve them. Fortunately they weren’t broken, but they were definitely bent in the ordeal. We just can’t have nice things….
Today the hiking was good. The wind was blowing until about noon. Again I was glad to have the wind. It would have been a scorcher otherwise.
I ran across three water caches today. All of them dry. It just goes to remind me of the fact. NEVER RELY ON WATER CACHES. It will certainly get you into trouble. Today I carried 10 pounds of water (5 liters) because I knew it was 16 miles to the next reliable source. The interesting thing, last night I retrieved those 5 liters from a horse trough! If my friends can see me now.
About 11, I realized I had seen no one all day. Within 15 minutes that changed when a young fellow passed me on the trail. His name was Calille (probably not spelling it right), and hales from Austria. He started the trail on Thursday. He was a fast hiker. At the time he passed me at mile 60, he was hoping to make it to Mile 77. He wanted to hitch a ride into Julian to resupply. I told him my day was done at 68. We exchanged goodbyes and he headed on his way.
About noon, I caught up with him while he was enjoying some lunch. I gave him about a pound of trail mix, as I knew he was running low on food. I still have too much food and i didnt want him to feel he HAD to push a 30 mile day to resupply. He thanked me, and I carried on.
About 45 minutes later he passed me again and said he was still going to shoot for mile 77 (HWY 74) and wished me well. I’m pretty sure I’ll never see him again. Hes SOO fast.
Rattles. Rattles. Rattles.
For anyone that has spent any time with me in a car knows I hate rattles. It’s one of my pet peeves. In my old Nitro the dashboard ratted frequently and I had about 75 cents worth of change jammed into the nooks and crannies to make it stop. When I new one would appear, I would jam another coin in it, and so the process went. I haven’t the slightest idea where this quirk of mine came from, but its annoying to me and all those involved in my automotive life.
Today, I had a similar occurance with my pack. I have a titanium cup strapped to the outside of my pack. Normally it rides along without make a peep. Today, it seemed no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the damn thing not to rattle. It seemed to be enjoying annoying the shit out of me.
In Wild, there is a scene in which one of her boots falls off the ledge to never be recovered. In her frustration she throws the other one off, and screams, ” FUCK YOU!” Let’s just say if the cup carries on with its shannigans, it will meet the same fate. I think I have figured out how to abate its incessant clank, but only time will tell.
Over the last few days, when looking at the map set I have, it lists possible camping sites. Its useful when you’re planning your day or are tired and just want the closest place to sit. To depict camp sites it has a little tent. When I see these icons, I envision a nice little camp ground with a picnic table and a fire pit. WRONG. And the sad thing, I know better! But everytime, i come to a camp site, I’m disappointed there is no picnic table. And the only reason I want a picnic table is so I don’t have to hunch over in my tent to write my blog. Basically the PCT definition of a campsite is a 4 foot by 5 foot level spot you could pitch a tent.
Ive been with this particular set of gear for 5 days now. I’ve figured out its ins and outs pretty well. I’ve been hiking before, and back packing, but never to this extreme. The one piece of gear that is the most useful thus far? My orange hanky. I use it for everything from cleaning up spills, to covering my neck in the hot sunny . It has hundreds of uses. I was quite surprised by this.
For those of you familiar with the old gay hanky code know orange stands for, anything anytime. I would say it fits the bill to a tee.
I put in 15 miles today and stopped at the last reliable water source until mile 101. Thats roughly 33 miles without water. This evening Ive been drinking copious amounts to “camel up”. I am going to try and get an early start tomorrow to avoid the mid day heat and get as many miles in as possible. Around 1 I will attempt to find shade and wait out the afternoon, and hike on into the evening hours. I hope to put in 20 tomorrow, so I will only have 12 to go the following day. I plan to take 8 liters of water with me. This should be adequate, but will also be very heavy. Slow and methodical will be the prescription for Monday and Tuesday.
The best news? I’m expecting visitors in Warner Springs on Wednesday. Depending on how I feel Tuesday I may try to bust out the additional 5 miles to take a zero day in Warner Springs, but we will just have to see what my body is up for.
My feet are doing ok at this point. Only one small new blister today. However, several years ago I developed tendonitis in the top of my left foot as a result of an overuse injury from running. Unfortunately, it appears to be making a come back. It made itself known about 2 miles before I finished today.
Anyone following my blog know of a stop gap measure for helping tendonitis? If any of you say, REST, I will slap you when I see you. That really isn’t an option until Wednesday. If you have advice, please leave it in the comments or email me directly if you have my email. I took a couple ibuprofen and loaded my dinner up with tumeric which is an outstanding anti-inflammatory. Let’s hope that’s enough, else I will walk into Warner Springs with Hiker Hobble extreme. Thanks for following along!