PCT 2007 Day 55
Day 55 / 5-19-07 Cowboy Camp 5425′
Sulphur Springs CG – Santa Clara Divide Road
26.6 miles; 433.4 total miles (12); 2508.9 trip miles
Last night was cold. I had ice on the rim of my bottles. Due to the cold and the long day yesterday, I didn’t get up at 4:30 when the alarm went off. I stayed in bed until 5:23. I was waiting for Wounded Knee and he was waiting for me.
The day started off with a climb up Bare Mountain and then Pacifico Mountain. The grade wasn’t too bad so it wasn’t bad. We made good time and made it to the Mill Creek Ranger Station by 10. Just before the station, we ran into Total Rachel and Breezer. They had stopped to talk to some ladies out for a hike. The ladies (Maria and Susan) were trail angeling. They gave us each a candy bar and apple. I missed the turn for the station and had to backtrack a short ways. Once there we snacked and filled up our water supply. We had another 14, or possibly 18 miles, to the next water. The section was very exposed as well. I soaked my head and shirt before leaving.
We left and had a climb right away. The climb was super sandy which made it even harder. Every time you thought it was about to flatten out, it would go up again. It got to the point of annoyance and my shirt had almost dried in just 3 miles. We passed Total Rachel and Breezer as they sat down for lunch.
We pushed on till 12:30 before we stopped for lunch on a switchback. It wasn’t flat but it was off the trail and had shade. We met a day hiker when we stopped. He was super excited to met real thru-hikers. He offered us his phone, which had service, if we had someone we wanted to talk to. I wanted to make a call to Sam but it felt odd. We hung out until 1:30 and then moved on. We still had about 9 miles to go.
We made good time after lunch but my right foot was heating up. I had to stop and put some duck tape on it. As I did Wounded Knee went by and, as he did, two mountain bikers came down the trail. I just yelled to Wounded Knee to watch out and didn’t bother to give them crap about being on the trail. Wounded Knee didn’t waste any time and let them know they were not supposed to be here. He had his head phones on so he didn’t hear what they had to say. One said something about riding there for 20 years. I yelled that that didn’t make it right.
I moved on after my taping was done and my foot felt much better. I found Wounded Knee a few miles later having a snack on a tough portion of climb. I joined him since I was dragging ass too. I had some Nuun which put some fire back in me as it always does and we were off. The top of Mt. Gleason came pretty quick and then I descended to Messenger Flats CG where I found two gallons of water and a bag of fruit. I topped off my water in case the next trickle was not flowing any more.
We now only had 1.5 miles to go to our chosen camp spot. Before we got going a pickup truck pulled up and we joked it was the person who left the water and they were back with more goodies. It was just the opposite. The guy got out of his truck, walked over to a 4×4 post with one of the large PCT symbols on it and started trying to ripe it out. We watched him for a minute then decided he was trying to steal it and started walking down the trail toward him. When he finally saw us he yelled “what’s up” and got in his truck and sped away.
The 1.5 miles went slow since we were side hilling. We got to the trickle of water but there was no place to camp, so we cleaned up a bit and pushed on. We finally found a flat spot right next to Santa Clara Divide Road. Hopefully no drunks come up here. The sunset is pretty due to either smoke from the fire we saw earlier today or it’s just clouds. It’s only 8 o’clock and I’ve already been in bed for a half hour. I have the feeling instead of doing a 20 tomorrow we’ll end up pushing on into Aqua Dulce.
As I just finished that last sentence, Wounded Knee informed me it was only 21 miles to town, suggesting we go in tomorrow but he didn’t actually say it. He let the numbers say it.
Scatman 2011- This was yet another long hot day. I remember sitting at the picnic table at the ranger station in the shade thinking, “Man I do not want to go back out in that heat and sun!” Right as we did we passed three guys sitting in lawn chairs drinking beers. I stopped to say hello and secretly hoped they’d offer a beer but they didn’t.
Even though our camp spot was right on the side of a dirt road it was pretty sweet. The views were great. I never got tired of the amazing sunsets and views I had.
Get out there!
You can check out my Appalachian Trail or Continental Divide Trail journals too!
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