PCT 2007 Day 65
Day 65 / 5-29-07 Cowboy Camp 5100′
Just below ridge – Walker Pass Trailhead CG
26.9 (.4) miles; 651.4 total miles (12.8) 2726.9 trip miles
I slept okay last night. It wasn’t the greatest and it wasn’t the worst. The moon was so bright. We were up and hiking by around 6. The trail was fairly easy to the first water cache; then it went up, way up.
At the cache we snacked and then it was time for an 1 hour plus long climb. The climb was hot and exposed as usually. After what seemed like forever, we reached a saddle and you thought this is it! Not so, there was a bunch more switchbacks and at least 15 more minutes of climbing. I saw a large Gopher snake near the top enjoying some shade on the trail. I also saw a deer and at least five rabbits at this point in the day. After we rested in the shade near the snake, we went on until 12:30 where we had lunch and a siesta.
Twice today Wounded Knee refrained from telling us the whole truth of what was coming up so not to discourage us. It was a good thing too since I was feeling the heat and didn’t need anything to bring me down. Before the big climb he just said the trail went around and up and pointed in the general direction of the trail. He said we’d get to the shade in about an hour. He neglected to mention how tough and long the climb to the shade was going to be. The next time he saved us, he just told us we had to walk a dirt road for 2 miles. What he didn’t mention was it was through a burned out section and hot as hell. It was so ugly and even the new growth didn’t help.
At the end of the dirt road, there was supposed to be water; but the spring was dry and all that was left was nasty mud puddles. I let the others know when I met them on the way back to the trail. As a result I had 3/4 of a liter for the next 7 miles. Lucky for me Lisa had water to spare and gave me another half liter. We had some more climbing in the burnt section then it was all downhill to the campground. My right shin started hurting me on the way down. I think it was because I was walking funny due to a growing hot spot on my foot. My socks are so dirty and filled with bacteria, I believe it is irritating my foot. I switched socks and that helped a little.
Once to the CG we had to walk another .2 of a mile for water. I got to the cistern first and proceeded to fill all 6 liters I had up. Mind you this cistern had reeds growing in it among other stuff and was filled with green slim. The water coming out of the pipe was clear and cold. I told Wounded Knee there might be another pipe in the back since I could here water dripping. I washed my hands then went to wash my face and the water stunk like rotting dead things! I then dumped all 6 liters when I found out Wounded Knee was getting water directly from the spring at the dripping sound I told him about.
At camp tonight there is also Wing It, Mr. Parkay, and —–? They went to town and got beer and hot dogs.
Scatman 2011- This climb was exceptionally daunting. You could see how high up the ridge line was and you knew there would be miles of switchbacks and gullies to traverse. It was the type of climb that tested the mind as much as the body.
Overall the day was hard but it was also rewarding to cover the ground we did. I was pretty spent by the time we got to camp. It was one of those nights you have a hard time motivating to cook but once you’re down eating, you’re so glad you did.
Get out there!