PCT A Long Time In The Desert!

Day 23  8 PCT miles – Drank all day, stayed at Acton KOA, CA

Day 24 24 PCT miles – Stayed 10 miles from Casa de Luna, CA

Day 25 26 PCT miles – Stayed on a slope which sucked

Day 26 15 PCT miles – Stayed at Horse Camp

Day 27 24 PCT miles

Day 28 20 PCT miles

Day 29  8 PCT miles

Day 30  0 PCT miles – 6 actual miles

Day 31 14 PCT miles

Day 32 23 PCT miles

Day 33 17 PCT miles – 19 actual miles

Day 34 16 PCT miles – 17 actual miles

Day 35 16 PCT miles

Day 36 17 PCT miles

Day 37 16 PCT miles

I started this section with a short hike to the KOA. I saw a guy with some beer, so I asked if I could buy one. He said, “$3″ I replied “I only have $2″.

So armed with a Pacifico beer, which tasted like a Corona, I set up my tent and performed surgery on my toe nail, which is now missing. It appears its sibling on the other foot will soon join it. After finishing up some camp chores, I joined the guy I got the beer from who was sitting with many more people now. I got my $2 back and then pitched in on the next beer run. The rest of the day was spent drinking and hanging out. I left late the next day, for obvious reasons. I still managed a 24 mile day.

I hung out with two couples on top of a hill overlooking a lake. I mentioned that when I got to the top of the hill I said “fuck” feeling defeated when I saw their tents. It was late and I was exhausted and thought there would be no where to put my tent when I saw them. There ended up being lots of room. Over dinner one of them mentioned that they were thinking if someone was here when they got here, they would murder them. I mentioned how I felt when I first saw them. I split a beer with them I had carried with me. Then later they jokingly   threatened to murder me in my sleep; at least I hoped they were joking. When I left I said, “Well my tent is that direction” and pointed the opposite way I was walking toward my tent 10 ft away. I woke up alive the next morning to the sound of people hiking by; I rolled over and sleep another hour. I had to do a lot of road walking that day due to another fire closure

I talked to a guy who said a rattle snake bit his hiking partner four miles from Cajon Pass. His hiking partner was in front of him, he saw a snake fly from one side of the trail to the other. He said, “You just got bit by a snake.” She replied she had thought it was a thorn. She decided just to hike into Cajon Pass. But later her lips started going numb so they Googled what to do for a snake bite then called 911. A chopper came and flew her out.

Went to this place called Hikertown, it was a bunch of shacks modeled after an old west town. There was a sheriff’s office, doctor’s office, etc. in a row on both sides of the owners’ house.

We borrowed a beat up van to go get food and beer.

Night hiked out of Hikertown, it was Labor Day and people had dune buggies flying through the desert. It looked like fun but when I became exhausted and passed out along an Aqueduct/road, I was worried one would run me over. The hike in the Aqueduct was miserable, you could hear water running under you but you couldn’t get to it. It got down to a low around 75 degrees that night. There were people with this awesome tent setup from Burning Man at the next water source. The tent had plush seats, couches, a refrigerator, and many other amenities.  I had a wonderful breakfast of bacon, sausage, and French toast.

There was a 40ish mile section where all the water sources had dried up. I knew there were roads so I assumed there would be water caches along the way. I left the section with enough water to get me through the day. The first road I came to had a cache, so I drank two liters and keep going. It got really hot; I was down to one liter of water and still had some distance to the next possible cache. I heard through the hiker grapevine that it was well maintained. I walked passed another road on the way to the well maintained cache and there were a bunch of empty bottles. Most of the roads are jeep roads and all are dirt roads, so they don’t see much traffic. I ended up deciding to drop down into a valley where I heard I could did a hole in an old stream bed and find water. After a three mile detour, I found the area and re-dug an existing hole that was full of decaying plant matter. After letting it settle, I filled up on muddy water. I spent the night hydrating and headed back to the trail the next day. I came across a female hiker later that day and not wanting to drink more mud if the water cache was for sure there, I inquired about it. See replied “there should be one there” I said, “good because I have been drinking mud”! She offered me the last sip of her water; I declined since I had more mud than she did water. I didn’t want to take the last of her water, if the cache wasn’t there.

Later when hiking, I felt a burning pain on the inside of my knee then up higher on my inner thigh. Luckily I had a tiny rip in my pants; I tore the crotch open and grabbed a fire ant just in the nick of time!  I crushed the little bastard taking vengeance as my leg burned.

Found a stream deep enough to sit in, it was amazing!  I spent the night near the area; there was actually food within five miles but it would’ve been inaccessible by the time we got there. Not being able to bear seeing food that we couldn’t have, we decided to stay the night and hike in early.

As I was leaving the desert and heading into the Sierras, I saw a rattlesnake on the side of the trail. It waited until I was passed, then gave the slightest rattle as if saying good bye as I hiked out of the cursed desert!

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