PCT 2007 Day 54
Day 54 / 5-18-07 Cowboy Camp
Little Jimmy Campground (CG) – Sulphur Springs CG
24.3 miles; 406.9 total miles (12); 2243.9 trip miles
Last night I had to bear bag my food for the first time all trip. There had been reports of two troublesome bears in the area. Craig and I put all our stuff on my one rope. It was like watching a comedy show, as we tried to get the rope over the branch. I had it on the first or second try but wasn’t satisfied with the location. I then proceeded to get the rock and rope wrapped around the branch twice. Both times it seemed near impossible to get it undone. Some how we finally got it right and then we had the challenge of actually lifting the weight. Vortex had to come and help us. After all that work, it was the poorest bear bag I’ve done. The food was way to close to the trunk. If the bear wanted the food, it was his.
I slept well though the ground was hard. 4:30 AM came much too soon and I stayed in bed till 5. After eating, Wounded Knee and I hit the trail like before. It was mostly down hill until we reach our first crossing of Highway 2. We then had a 1.7 mile climb up the side of Mt. Williamson. Like on the AT, we didn’t go over it just 3/4’s of the way before a steep descent back to Highway 2. We took a break at the road and then climbed a small hill before once again reaching Highway 2. I used the bathroom at the day use area and when I buckled my waist belt I pinched the skin between my thumb and index finger. It bled for a while as a result. At this point, I took the detour around a section of trail closed due to the mating of the Yellow Legged Frog. I had to walk 3 miles of road then a mile or so or trail to get back to the PCT. The road walk sucked. It really made my feet hot. So when I got to the Cooper Canyon Creek, where the detour met the PCT, I soaked my aching feet.
I pushed on up the trail thinking that Wounded Knee was in front of me since he didn’t take the detour. I reached Cooper Canyon Trail Camp and stopped to get water. He showed up 10 minutes later and had just seen a big black bear. I was jealous. We had lunch then took a nap. Yesterdays climb up Baden-Powell kicked everyone butts.
I had to move once during my nap since the sun found me. After my nap I had a second bagel with peanut butter. We got going just before 2 PM. We had a climb right away and it hurt just as bad as the one earlier. When I got to the top, I stopped and took off my soaked shirt and waited for Wounded Knee. At this point we were sitting next to Highway 2 again. We figured we only had 7 miles to go and after what felt like a 2+ miles descent to a boy scout camp at Camp Glenwood, we realized we still had 6 miles to go. At the camp we ran into Troll and Oblivious. We were all low on water and were worried about it. There were two water tanks nearby but both were empty. Not too far down the trail, there was a cement box with a pipe and it was barely running. We were surprised to find it since it wasn’t on the report. It took 5 minutes to get half a liter. I got one liter then Wounded Knee stayed for another 1.5 liters. The next 6 or so miles seemed to take forever. I think not drinking much water to conserve didn’t help. I finally reached the 6′ long by 6″ deep pool described in the report. We all ended up having dinner there.
I hiked on, as did the others to Camp, but they took the equestrian PCT while I took the hiker PCT. As a result I had to backtrack a few tenths of a mile to the camp, which the equestrian trail went right to. Its off to bed for an early night. Today was super tough and tomorrow has even more climbing to come.
To describe my surroundings today – it was open forests of white firs, sugar and ponderosa pines, interior live oak and mountain mahogany. The forests have very little ground brush and the footing is very rocky or sandy. It’s more crumbled granite than sand. Later in the day we hiked through Jeffrey pine amid groups of slivery-leaved, multihued lupine. It was much more desert like in the late part of the day.
Scatman 2011- This was a tough day. It was on that just kept going and going. Not having the distances right didn’t help but it was a just a drag. The last part of the day was super winded so it felt like you weren’t going anywhere. I was definitely dehydrated from yesterday.
Get out there!