PCT 2007 Day 44
Day 44 / 5-8-07 Cowboy
View of Fuller Ridge – Two Good Camps
21.7 miles; 220 total miles (11); 2055.6 trip miles
Last night’s camp spot picked out by UB was great. The stars were bright and I even saw a satellite. I woke up at 4:30 and when I finally stirred, the first thing I did was look up at the stars and smile. I was so happy to be lying on the ground, dirty, cold and having the time of my life. I was completely content with my situation.
We broke camp at 5:15 and continued the ridiculous switchbacks down to the desert floor. It took us 3 hours to get down to the water fountain at the bottom. The first thing I did was to remove my hat and glasses and soaked my head. It felt great. By this time it was already in the high 80’s and it was only 8:20 AM. We hung out a while drinking a ton of water in the shade before the next 4 miles of shadeless desert to the I-10 underpass. We had to walk through rabbit brush, creosote and lots of soft sand to get to the shade of the bridges. Once there we found Geek, another thru-hiker. He was sleeping away the hottest part of the day, too. It was now 90+ out and even the breeze is hot.
I fell asleep for a good hour after we got there. Soon after we had lunch and reworked the numbers to Big Bear City. We figured out we have extra snacks due to our pace and error in which way to take into Big Bear.
We stayed under the interstate until 4 PM and headed out into the heat. It was still hot as hell and I was sweating like a pig. We didn’t go a little more than a mile and we had to hike through a junk yard where there was a register and to the left a cooler with water. Another mile later I see yet another cooler and some yellow poster board. Again the cooler was filled with water, this time left by the Gracia family. The poster board was for us to sign.
After that our water changed for the worse. We planned to get water 4 miles from the bridge at a Mesa Wind Farm office but they closed at 2 PM and it was now closer to 5 PM. There was a pond there but it had uranium in it.
We decided we could make it the next 5 miles with what we had. I knew I wouldn’t though. We climbed up out of Gold Canyon and then down into Teutang Canyon. The climb was hard but lucky for us it was now in the shade. After that it was a beautiful traverse of Teutang Canyon and a descent to Whitewater Canyon. This is where the water was supposed to be. The basin is probably a mile wide and one big flood plain. So the river can change location from year to year. We hiked far enough that we were sure we missed it. How you miss what our handbook calls “the most water you’ve seen yet”, is beside me. We decided we had gone far enough and dry camped. Dry camping is when you camp without water to cook with. I had a bagel with peanut butter, Cliffbar, and a Payday candy bar. With that I had just a half liter of water. I have another half liter for the morning to get us about 3 miles. Maybe we’ll find the Whitewater River. The only reason I have the second half liter is thanks to UB, she gave me some of her water.
We heard a coyote on the way to camp while in Teutang Canyon. He howled once and that’s it. It’s another night under the stars, though I can’t see them as good since I threw away my contacts. Off to bed – the bugs attacking my light are driving me insane.
Scatman 2011- This was a tough day. The heat was almost unbearable. Even as UB and I hiked into the night it was hot. We both got on edge due to the heat. Even though the heat was unbearable and the miles long I was having the time of my life. Waking up like I did to the stars was amazing.
Get out there!