May 3, 2017: Hiked Miles 286.7 to 310.0 (23.3 total)
Our day started off nice and cold in the mountains. We tossed the rest of our oatmeal out back in Big Bear, because we had been carrying it around since Day 1. I can’t believe it took us that long to realize we were never going to eat it again. Cooking in the morning just takes too long. Something I am learning out here is to take action right when you think something is not working. Carrying around stuff you don’t need, wearing shoes that hurt until you are covered in blisters, changing out gear that’s not working. These are all things that the sooner you change them, the happier you will be. I suppose you could apply that lesson to anything in life. Anyways, since we tossed the oatmeal, we decided to switch things up from our protein bars and bought some granola. It seems heavy, but packs a lot of calories and fat into a small serving. So we whipped up some powdered milk and water which surprisingly tasted just like milk, and had ourselves some cereal! We get excited over little things if you can’t tell.
All morning we wound our way back down to the desert and through thick creek crossings.
The going was slow because it seems that every tree close to the trail decided to fall right on it and we kept getting snagged in thick bushes down by the water.
We saw more bees today than ever before, which always gets Colton on the run. This tree probably had a thousand bees swarming it:
We spent most of the day winding our way along the ridges of the canyon we were in. Every so often the trail would go down to the creek and then come right back out. It was so hot today, with little shade or windflow in the canyon and we felt like we could never quench our thirst.
We did find an awesome creek to stop at for lunch and soak our feet in. Nothing has ever felt so good.
We took another little break in the afternoon to cool off in a creek and rest our feet. We were sitting around with a couple other guys when all the sudden Colton grabbed me and said run and pushed me off the rock I was sitting on. The guy we were talking to jumped and fell on us and spilled his water everywhere. I looked up to see a huge snake slithering a few feet away from us. I guess he had climbed up on the other guy’s pack when Colton saw him and then when we yelled and scared him, the snake hit the other guy’s leg trying to get away. After everyone calmed down and we realized it probably wasn’t poisonous, we all had a a good laugh.
We collapsed on a bridge at one point during the day out of pure exhaustion.
When youre hot and tired, everything seems funny. We laughed so hard, we couldn’t get up:
We obviously have a ton of time hiking to talk and think. Sometimes we just walk silently, usually on the hard parts, or when we can’t agree on something, or at the end of the day when it takes all our energy to keep going. But a lot of the time we talk. We talk about literally everything that could pop in your mind. We talk about family and memories and compare things we remember from our past. Today we were talking about tv shows. We passed a group of quail which reminded me of the show Doug, because his imaginary superhero self is named Quail Man. Colton had never seen Doug. OMG. So deprived. Then he hummed the Pokemon theme song which of course got stuck in our heads all afternoon.
We talk about food a lot, since we don’t have access to basically any real food. Yes, we like to torture ourselves. We talk about all the food we used to eat as kids and how good it sounds… jaw breakers, Animal Crackers, Fun Dip, Cookie Crisp cereal. Man I miss being a kid sometimes. One advantage of walking 20 miles a day and starving yourself is that when you do get food access, you can stuff your face. We plan on eating all those amazing foods, at some point during this hike. Colton finally told me I had to stop talking about food when I brought up watermelon. When you’re hiking all day in intense heat, watermelon is the only thing that sounds good. And of course we can’t bring a watermelon out here. Don’t even try Colton.
Our goal for the day was to make it to some natural hot springs about 21 miles into the day. But we found out from others that camping within a mile from the hot springs is prohibited and the fine is almost $200 if you get caught. We decided we would just hang out for a bit when we got there and then push on another mile to find a place to sleep. Well after practically dying of thirst and heat all afternoon, the last thing we wanted to do when we got there was get any hotter. We filtered water upstream instead and observed the area.
I couldn’t believe that some ranger would walk miles down here every morning just to fine people for sleeping on the beach. But as I looked around there was tons of trash and graffiti, I’m guessing from locals, so I’m assuming that’s their reason on banning camping. It was interesting to see locals and backpackers all in one place. Backpackers laying against their one backpack that contains everything they need. The locals partying with all the stuff they brought for one day spread out all over. One local guy was nice enough to walk around completely naked offering us the rest of his bag of wine and to pack our trash out. Always an interesting day out here on the PCT.
We got going after filtering our water so we could find a campsite before dark. Due to the crazy canyon we were stuck in, we had to walk over two more miles to find a place down by the creek.
It was nice to be camping in a warm enough area to finally be able to enjoy dinner without having to scarf it down to get out of the cold, but the mosquitoes were pretty bad, so Colton ate in the tent and I just pretended they weren’t biting me.
Now we’re laying in our tent with as little clothes as possible trying to cool down, chugging all the water he have trying to rehydrate. And tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter.