We started out by filtering some water out of the horse trough at about 6:30am to a gorgeous sunrise to the east of us. There was a sign warning us of non-cosumable water for horse consumption only. But a hikers gotta get their water somehow in the desert. Rob and Troll were about 15 minutes ahead of us leaving camp and Michaela was bringing up the rear. The plan for the day was to make it to the next water source at Rodriguez fire tank and figure it out from there. On the maps there was some campsite between the fire tank and Scissors Crossings at mile 77. Sugarpine and I were feeling ambitious for the day and wanted to go all the the way and maybe get a hitch into Julian for the night, rest up and take care of some blisters but we would have to see.
Again the hike was beautiful with a view down into Anza Borrego and then we made a drastic drop down into Chariot Canyon and it was already heating up by about 9am. We stopped to snack, let our feet cool down and slather on some sunscreen before continuing on as it was heating up. Sugarpine had to change into shorts and put some Desatin on her chafe. After about 2 miles we ran into Rob and Troll who had also decided to take a little break but only a little bit ahead of us. We said Hi and would continue on to the fire tank. it was really warm by the time we got there, we were able to filter a few liters of water and find a shady spot to take a little rest for about an hour or two. Just as we were about to start putting our shoes back on Michaela made it to the fire tank and we started to brainstorm on what we should do for the evening.
We called some hotels in Julian to see if space was available if we did continue on for another 8 miles or so to Scissors Crossings to make the hitch up the hill for the night. Turns out everything in town was full because it was a Friday. So then it hit me, I got the idea to call the best trail wizard I know of, MOM!!! She said she would love to come pick us and our new friends up and let us shower and do some laundry and then shuttle us back to the trail the next morning. We were so excited!
The whole way down to Scissors Crossing we were talking about the fun night ahead of us at home. We strategically planned how we would first go to the grocery store and do a little resupply, then pick up dinner, then go home to do laundry, shower, and soak our feet. Sugarpine and I really wanted cheap pizza so we thought of Little Caesars. When Rob and Micaela met up with us they said they had been craving “slutty food, like Little Caesars.” How perfect! We all wanted Little Caesars! The funny thing is, is that in our normal lives none of us like to eat that crap. Must be a starving hiker thing.
When we got to Scissors Crossing it was 6pm and my Mom was waiting for us. As we approached her, we each hugged her and were amazed at how good she smelled. She smelled wonderful! I guess we just all stunk so bad, and were used to each other’s stinky stench for the last 5 days. We piled into her car, and had to roll down the windows for the drive into town.
It was close to 7pm when we got to the grocery store. We hadn’t had time to clean up before town like hikers should. We hobbled into the store, dirty, smelly, and limping. We looked homeless. We were hobbling around the store, staring at all the candy and food. I think people thought we were on drugs or something. We got such weird stares. I guess it’s because it’s not a town that gets thru-hikers, so our “hiker style” looked foreign.
After the grocery store, we went to Little Caesars and each ordered our own pizza and side of crazy bread. We went home, each took a shower, and sat on the front porch. My mom and little brother filled up tubs of hot water and epsom salts for each of us. We sat on the porch, pizza in lap, feet soaking, resting after our 17 miles we just hiked. We were finally clean and full. What a long day we had, and what a wonderful way to end it!