Trail miles: 14.0 from 68.4 - 82.4
Miles hiked: 15.5
I haven’t slept good at all thus far thanks to an uncomfortable sleeping pad. I’m trying to remedy that with having Siona send me a heavier but more comfortable one. It’s still 100 miles away. To add to my discomfort my intestines decided that 3:30 am was a good time to explode. So after my mad dash from sleeping bag to a cat-hole, I just packed up and hit the trail at 4:00 am in attempt to beat the heat. I had 8.7 miles remaining to Scissors Crossing where there is a water cache under a highway overpass.
|Daylight view of the trail similar to where Mountain Lion was encountered|
I was hiking alone by headlamp when I saw eyes glowing in front of me about 30 - 40 feet up a hill to my right. I hoped it was a desert deer or maybe a coyote, but it FOLLOWED me! I’d round a corner, it would round a corner 30 feet above me. It moved silently. I was a bit scared it was a mountain lion and then my fears were confirmed when my headlamp was close enough to see it clearly. Adrenaline filled my body immediately and I was readying myself for a fight. I did not run, and tried to maintain eye contact while still walking away and avoiding cacti on the trail. This cat and mouse (I was the mouse) game went on for fifteen minutes. I was talking shit at the lion in attempt to scare it away, and apparently mountain lions don’t like Massholes because he eventually stopped following me.
Once I reached Scissors Crossing ,a large group of us hitchhiked into the town of Julian where we spent most of the day at Carmen’s place. Carmen opens her place to PCT hikers out of the kindness of her heart. She gives everyone a free beer, an opportunity to do laundry, a tub of cold water to soak feet in, a place to just chill out and rest. She and the others that take care of us hikers are the most amazing kind of people. Not to mention the great folks that carted a ton of us thru hikers and packs to and from the trail.
I washed my socks, boxers, and shirt in a wash tub. I then hung out with some awesome people, shared a ton of laughs, and ate the best cheeseburger I’ve ever had. Somewhere along the way, I gave my German friend a trail name of Paint Peeler. My German friends decided to stay in town, and I headed back to the trail with a new friend I met yesterday named Whiplash.
Tonight was the most enjoyable and fun day I’ve had yet, but it was not without suffering. It’s just too hot to hike from 10:30 till about 3:30, so when Whiplash and I made it back to the trail at 2:30, we just kicked it under the overpass which was the only shade for several miles for an hour or so.
Whiplash and I are currently cowboy camping on an exposed desert ridge. Water is nowhere in sight, except for the 6 liters I carried up here.
Whiplash is a great guy who I hope to maintain contact with. We were also joined by Sierra and her friend Wine Troll. Sierra has been on trail for 4 weeks already. She has blisters so bad on her feet that they look like their pregnant with other blisters.
Wine Troll got his trail name today when he started drinking a random bottle of wine he found under the bridge. I love these people. I love this trail, even though it is trying to kill me.
Back at it again in 7 hours... over and out.
No spot update at the time of this post. Camp location is estimated.