Day 20: A Funny Day Under the Bridge

May 4, 2017: Hiked Miles 310.0 to 328.1 (18.1 total)

I woke up wide awake at 6:00 this morning like always. For the most part I love having a great internal alarm clock. I would hate to have to set an alarm out here every night. But somedays you just want to sleep in and can’t. Then it’s not so fun. First stop was the toilet, otherwise known as a hole I dig in the ground. With so many hikers out here it’s super important to not just shit in the woods. No one likes to step on poo and see toilet paper flying around. So we carry these little sharp plastic shovel things called trowels to dig holes so we can bury our poop and hopefully no one has to see it again. We pack all our toilet paper out too so that the trail doesn’t look like some high school kids played a bad prank. Not the most appealing thing to talk about, but I’m sure you all were wondering. And when you’re in the middle of nowhere for five our six days, there’s no avoiding it.  

Colton was still sleeping when I came back so I decided to get a head start on filtering water. I tried three different ways to get to the creek and all I ended up with was a bunch of scrapes and twigs in my hair. Eventually I noticed a trail right behind our tent and tried it and it led straight to a little pool. Not the best part of the creek, but the water was running. And that’s why we have a filter. 

Our filter slows down after being used a lot so filtering water took awhile. By the time we finished that, packed up, ate breakfast and got hiking it was already hot. We did get to cross this cool rainbow bridge and finally hike on the opposite side of the canyon though. 

We wound our way out of the canyon (finally!) and saw an end in sight. Maybe not an end, that’s still months away, but at least a new sight. 

We also passed another rattlesnake. This one was slowly creeping away from us so I was finally not too scared to get a picture. I think this one had five rattles. 

We crossed a spillway that was completely empty, due to the dam having about three inches of water in it. 

We kept coming across this weird orange string-like thing intertwined in a bunch of the plants. I’m guessing it is some kind of weird spiderweb or algae. Colton thinks it’s fishing line… that somehow got wrapped around every plant out here. 

We crossed a couple creeks.

We saw some more desert. 

Then found ourselves walking along another ridge, overlooking the valley of Hisperia.

It got insanely hot. We were trying to make it nine miles into the day to refill water and eat lunch but the “stream” turned out to be more algae than water. We had a feeling that might happen, but knew there was for sure water another 4.4 miles up so we weren’t too worried. 

I did manage to roll my right ankle three times on the way. Not so fun. Luckily I have rolled my ankles about 3,000 times in my life so I know how to walk it off right away to not let it swell up. Still didn’t stop me from yelling and cussing a lot though. Finally we made it to a tiny little creek under a bridge and sank into the shade. The water was flowing just enough to use our 1 cup measuring cup to fill up our platypus’ and drench our bodies in water. 

Between filtering water and eating lunch, we laughed more than I have this whole trail. When you’re hot and tired, everything seems funny and people start getting real honest. One Swedish guy rolled in and literally fell on the ground next to us and proceeded to tell us that he is like a Formula 1 racecar and that he can only work in ideal conditions and this off-road thing was too much for his well-oiled machine. We told him he might want to find another trail to walk. The rest of lunch we listened to some more foreigners try to translate Dr. Seuss words, people trying to speculate what all they could get a pizza delivery man to deliver to them on the trail, and some other people talk about all the times they’re pooped their pants in their life. It was an entertaining lunch.

We finally forced ourselves up and pushed on the last five miles to home for the night. After a couple miles we crested a hill and came upon the most glorious view of all. 

There’s nothing like a huge body of water when you’re dying of thirst and have sweat all the water out off your body to put a huge smile on your face. 

We skirted the edge of the lake for a couple more miles, dying to get in until we made it to the picnic area where we planned to spend the night. We hurried down to the beach, peeled off our shoes and clothes and got in. The water was cold, full of algae, and the bottom felt like mud, but once I jumped in, I felt so refreshed.

We sat on the shore, drying off, and enjoyed finally getting to camp early enough to enjoy some free time. Colton started obsessing about how skinny he’s getting and how big my calves are getting. Yes, my calves are big, and no he’s not too skinny, don’t worry. But that didn’t stop him from running back to camp and shoving all his extra food in his mouth. 

We set up camp in the picnic area. It felt so weird to have toilets, trashcans and running drinking water at hand. Colton said he felt like he was in a hotel. I think the heat might be getting to him. After dinner we stretched and gave each other back massages and now we’re laying in our tent looking up at the moon right above us, listening to the crickets chirping. 

Tomorrow we have a short 13.8 mile day into Cajon Pass where Colton’s grandpa is going to pick us up to spend a day with him and his wife and hopefully indulge in some Cinco de Mayo festivities.

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4 thoughts on “Day 20: A Funny Day Under the Bridge

  1. Colton probably doesn’t remember but when he was about 2 he lived in Apple Valley just north of Hesperia 😎see you tomorrow. There is a good meeting spots road just before I-15. Santa fe & Salt Lake monument.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG.. I’m laughing my ass off. I had to put the phone down and wipe away laughter tears 3 times at least from this post.
    Yes, I was kinda wondering! We talked about it briefly in Idyllwild Haha.
    I’m sure at this point, some of the modesty is gone. I’m sure you two have gotten to know each other more than people that have been married for decades. Love reading about you guys everyday. You should publish this .. it’s so really and so true. That’s what people need to know. I live the formula 1 guys personality too…
    Enjoy 5-5.. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not sure why the no-TP method isn’t more popular, but here’s a link to an old BPL article:

    https://backpackinglight.com/toilet_paper_free/

    Secondly, this light weight snow stake is the ultimate trowel:

    https://www.rei.com/product/845328/rei-co-op-snow-stake?CAWELAID=120217890000764632&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=30320809120&CATCI=pla-291695966307&cm_mmc=PLA_Google|404_55336|8453280001|none|11e82370-0c4d-4528-b8a0-7e2e86dbc0e6|pla-291695966307&lsft=cm_mmc:PLA_Google_LIA|404_55336|8453280001|none|11e82370-0c4d-4528-b8a0-7e2e86dbc0e6|pla-291695966307&gclid=Cj0KEQjwxbDIBRCL99Wls-nLicoBEiQAWroh6r3tRMJMkeVRSQJzNMg4PP7HyR74NllyNPHP_DMwbWMaAkRv8P8HAQ

    Liked by 1 person

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