Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 5 (5/22) Cache Time

This was my fastest morning out of camp because I didn't use the tent. Up at 6:10, walking by 6:30. I made the 5 miles down  to Scissors Crossing in a few short hours and ran into Roger just as I was getting to the water cache. A water cache is where folks drop off water for hikers on the dry sections. You aren't supposed to count on then in case the specific one wasn't restocked lately. In this case I was on luck and didn't have to treat water out of the nearby, slow flowing creek. I picked up 6L - enough for the 14 mile hike to the next cache, plus enough for the 2 mile hike to the next source if that were empty. I also ran into Trish again at the cache, and it was cool to chat some more with her. I took off while she and Chance were still taking care of their morning duties with the horses. Funny how the majority of their work is when they aren't moving as opposed to how the majority of my work is to keep moving. Curious.

The interesting part of today was looking at all the interesting plants and animals - the animals were avoiding me, and I was doing my best to avoid the plants. Yesterday I saw my first cactus of the trip, and today was full of all types. The weirdest looking ones were barrel shaped and they would just dominate while hillsides, but only the southern facing ones. Other ones grew in more interesting shapes, which made them slightly more of an impaling threat. I managed to dodge every single one until a late night bathroom trip broke my streak... It was also neat to see all the wildlife. I saw my first horned lizard today, but didn't manage to snap a photo. I also saw a ton of lizards, rabbits and birds. Its interesting how they all seem to use the real as well. I had one rabbit run 200 yards down the trail as I kept walking towards it before it finally darted uphill. The ants may be the most prolific trail users as you can generally find a line of themgoing or coming from somewhere on this walking path. Its an awfully dangerous place for ants though as hikers come plowing down the trail with little regard for the wellbeing of those underfoot.

It was quite the day overall. When I got to the cache at third gate, it turned out to be empty. Trish and Chance arrived shortly after me, and they decided to push for Barrel Springs. I didn't have that jobs of water on me, so I stuck with the plan of making the trek down the hill to the faucet at the ranch. Since I was coming right back I had the luxury of dropping my pack and just carrying water containers. It took about 30 mon to get down and another 45 to climb back up... Since I was going and had the time, I filled up my full capacity and added the excess back into the cache for the next folks to come through. On the trail the term is posting it forward, that is, instead of paying back those who help you our, you should pay forward to help out other hikers. Hopefully those 6L go to someone who really needed them.

I cowboy camped again tonight, but this time a small mouse decided to join me... I was too tired to move on, so I packed away all my food and left the garbage bag as the most accessible object. Sure enough, he worked on it through the night despite my efforts to scare him away. At least my food was secure and made it through unscathed.

Daily mileage: 19.2
Trip mileage: 91.2

1 comment:

  1. This is so exciting! Good luck, keep us updated, and keep on trekking!