PCT 2007 Day 59
Day 59 / 5-23-07 Cowboy Camp 5050′
Casa de Luna – Sawmill Campground
20.2 (.2) miles; 498.8 total miles (12.2); 2574.3 trip miles
High; 70’s sunny
I slept well despite being on a slight hill. Before I crashed, I did my best to level out my spot. I didn’t get up until almost 7 AM. I proceeded to make breakfast even though I knew the Andersons would also be cooking for us. I started to pack where I slept but the wind kicked up and was blowing sand all over my gear. I moved to the front of the house and finished packing. I also replaced my hiking pole tips that had finally worn out. Once I got the right tools, it wasn’t too hard.
We were on the trail by 9:30 and of course it was uphill right away. The climb wasn’t too bad; but it was exposed so the sun made it pretty hot. We descended to Elizabeth Lake Canyon Road where the Red Carpet Cache was. Whoever maintains it puts down red carpet to sit on. We had lunch there since we had a long climb coming up. It was supposed to give us energy but all I felt was a full belly and slow.
Once to the top of this climb, we had to zigzag and go up and down on very hard sun baked soil and it was all exposed. I did not enjoy this section of trail at all. I finally stopped under a tree with shade and Wounded Knee and I had a snack. We decided to do 3 more miles then have dinner before doing another 2 miles to Sawmill CG. The 3 miles to the ridge top and our next water went quick. Along the way we traversed the side of the mountain we were on and went through the prettiest oak forests. The trees weren’t that tall but there also wasn’t any undergrowth either. As a result, you could see pretty far through the trees.
We got water from the cache at the ridge top. There was an intersection of 4 dirt roads there and we cooked just off to the side. We had a motorcycle come by while we ate. Just above us was a 10,000 gallon water tank used to store water for forest fires. We got our camp towels wet so we could clean up later.
We finished dinner and moved on to Sawmill CG. Along the way I got at least 200′ in front of Wounded Knee and living up to my name I passed gas. When he got to the same spot, he could actually still smell it. Unfortunately trail food does a number on my insides.
There are mosquitoes here at camp. I have my head net on for the second time now. It’s only 8:08 PM and I’ve already been in bed for 15 minutes.
Today I got a good look at the Mojave and what I will be crossing on Friday. On Friday I will have a 16.4 mile dirt road walk that is almost completely straight, no shade, lots of sun and sand. When you look down off the ridge I’m hiking on, the green plant covered mountains fade out and then it’s just turns to brown flat desert. Way off to the other side the green starts again and the mountains do, too. You do see some random mountains of brown in the middle. There are also some square patches of solid green and I can only guess therere sod farms.
Today was a good day. Wounded Knee noted how 20 mile days seem easy now. He is correct and soon that will change in the high sierra, to lower mileage and more climbing. I can’t wait, just 9-10 days to go.
Scatman 2011- I really enjoyed the later part of today. Hiking through forest where there is very little underbrush is great. You can see so much and it’s pretty. The desert to the north on the other hand didn’t look very fun. I enjoyed the shade of the forest very much so but the party had to end some time! The campground we stayed at was pretty primitive as it appeared to be in the middle of now where but it felt like you were in no man’s land a lot out there. The reality was you were never really far from civilization except for a few spot on the whole trail.
Get out there!