shade is our friend; days 3-5

Day 3: Mt.Laguna to Sunrise Trailhead, 17 miles

Day 4: Sunrise Trailhead to Scissors Crossing, 17.5 miles

Day 5: Scissors Crossing to Mile 94.5, 17.5 miles

Other titles deemed appropriate for this post are: How are we so dirty after only 2 days without a shower? The land of many ants. And, “Oh geeze, it’s hot!” After being graced by two mild days, things heated up and we left the trees for the rugged and dry mountains. This is not a complaint, as they are beautiful!

On day 4, we were faced with a 21 mile stretch without a definite water source. We filled up enough to make it the 7 miles into the valley, with hopes that the PCT water report was accurate about possible water 3/10ths of a mile up a dry creek bed by Highway 78. We searched, but found no water. So we went to plan b, to hitch into the town of Julian 12 miles west. It’s a popular stop off the trail, but we were disappointed because it was getting late, and we didn’t want to be forced to stay in town and get a late start the next morning. Few cars were coming by, but Garret hollered at a young man coming FROM Julian, “$20 for a ride!” The man stopped, and said he’d just come from there, but that he hopes to hike the PCT in a few years and he’d give us a ride for free! He drove us in, waited for us to get 3 gallons of water from the store, and then drove us back to the trailhead! It was our first bit of trail magic, and we were very grateful! We set-up camp just before dark, shoveled down some cold mashed potatoes, and called it a night.

The next day, day 5, we woke up at 5AM, and got an early start at climbing out of the valley. We made it to the water cache 14 miles later, and it was full! Hikers were camped out between the juniper bushes, lounging in the shade that had been so elusive all day. We took what water we needed, and took a well earned siesta as well.

Around 5pm, we hiked 3 more miles to a campsite on the ridge to enjoy dinner and this sunset:

Next-up, hitting 100 miles on the PCT & Warner Springs!