The early hours of TD 4 I hiked alone, wondering where the other hikers were and if I would see them again. Looking back I could only marvel at vastness and beauty of this hot dry land.
Perhaps around 8am Bear Scare, a hiker from MD appeared and took the lead. We hiked together discussing the enigma of time after several miles of trail winding through dry mountains. My partner stopped in a shady alcove, Coffee Break then appeared. I was introduced. I left them and hiked in the increasing heat. During these hours I passed the 100 mile mark.
The image above is from my gps app “PCT Halfmile,” an amazing program that keeps all of us on the trail from getting lost!
The trail leaves the mountains after the hundred mile mark and meanders through rangeland, past large unconcerned cattle.
The open rangeland was shadeless and brutally hot. Thus when I came to San Jsidro Creek, flowing full and cool, I rejoiced at this joyous treat. Every chance available I take off my shoes and put my feet in flowing water. This was the first flowing water in at least 60 miles.
David met me at Eagle Rock and we walked into Warner Springs together ( MP 109). I resupplied and headed into the San Jacinto mountains.
I had hoped to put in 10 more miles but could not resist the Siren’s call of Aqua Caliente Creek (more aptly named, I think, Aqua Frio Rio). Its cold deep pools, Oak tree shade and sandy beaches were an other world dream
Originally planning on a lower cramped site a day hiking fisherman told me of the higher, larger, sandier site. He stayed and chatted as I set up camp. We discovered that completely serendipitously our paths had crossed three years before at a Cummins Service Center!
That night I went early to bed. I knew I had stopped too soon for my schedule. Now I would have over 36 miles to complete on TD 5. What I did not know was the adventures those 36+ miles held for me.