Day 6

It was so nice waking up in a cozy bed, with our own bed sheets. It was so hard to imagine getting dropped off back outside soon. We all sat in a circle, separating our clean laundry. We packed our bags, and loaded them into the car. Chas’ mom, Peggy, drove us to Starbucks, where we each indulged in a yummy drink and pastry. I got a tall iced double soy caramel macchiato with a little extra caramel, and a slice of pumpkin loaf. Mmm!!!

Our hiker trash friends

Our hiker trash friends

Peggy drove us back to Scissors Crossings, and all of us had butterflies in our tummies again. We were nervous! But why? We were just out on the trail the last five days, feeling fine. But something about the comfort of home and town made us question why we would make ourselves go back out there, with blisters, and the heat, and cold, hiking all day long.

The posse with Momma Lingo

The posse with Momma Lingo

When we got out of the car it was so windy! We hiked under the bridge at Scissors Crossings. At the time we went through there, there was a couch under the bridge. The trail angel who maintains the water cache for hikers there was upset that there was a couch, and refused to refill the water. I have to admit, the couch made it look trashy, and I understand why it would make him angry. However, since it was there, we sat on it while waiting for each other to sign the PCT log book.

Micaela and Rob at Scissors Crossings

Micaela and Rob at Scissors Crossings

Something special happened at Scissors Crossings, Chas got his trail name! Being from San Diego, and also being the silly guy he is, he has some slang he uses when he talks. Whenever he uses the slang, people laugh, and ask what he means. He says things such as “Smashin,” “Burnin,” “Crushin-it,” “Choppin it up,” “Posse Out,” etc. It always makes Rob and Micaela laugh because of all his lingo. So that’s what they started calling him- Lingo! So, I dubbed Chas at Scissors Crossings on the couch, with my trekking pole.

Sugarpine dubbing Lingo

Sugarpine dubbing Lingo

Lingo and Rob

Lingo and Rob

Beautiful ocotillo

Beautiful ocotillo

Yummy pizza lunch!

Yummy pizza lunch!

After that we made our hike up the San Felipe Hills. The Starbucks and clean clothes helped a lot with the first half of our day. We were all pumped up as we hiked the first 10 miles. I can’t even describe how windy it was. Well, let me try to. The wind was so strong that I was scared to lift both my trekking poles off the ground at the same time. We had to use extra force with each step just to make it forward. The wind would then stop, and we would get to hike at a faster pace. But then it would pick up in a second, at full force, throwing you almost off the side of the trail and into the cactus below. We took a lunch break and ate our leftover pizza. The second half of the day though was long, and it felt like we were hiking forever. We only saw one other hiker the whole day, which was sort of weird. When we finally made it to the water source at Third Gate, I hurt so bad. My left knee and right ankle hurt. I had the “hiker hobble” big time. When we arrived at the water source, there were lots of other hikers sitting around and cooking dinner together. We found a spot big enough for our two person tent, but all the spots up there were pretty exposed and super windy. There was old rusty barbed wire around our spot, and Lingo almost fell into it while putting up the tent. We got into the tent, and I cleaned up my chafe. It hurt so bad. We put on warmer clothes and went over to Troll’s spot where everyone was eating dinner. We ate with Happy Feet, Rob, Micaela, and Rocket Llama. I made couscous for dinner, with tapatio and mixed some fresh veggies from town (which I cut up with my teeth and spit into my cook pot since i didn’t have a knife.) It was so tasty. It got really cold, and I my body hurt really bad. Once we got into our tent to go to sleep I broke down and started crying for the first time on the PCT. I’m not sure why exactly.. maybe I was just overwhelmed. Lingo told me how great I had been hiking, along with other sweet things, and it made me feel a little better. I was almost asleep around 9pm when everyone was woken up to a loud crew of hikers shouting “Water! Where’s the water?” and “Turtle!?” Troll pointed them in the direction of the water, and that was then end of that, or so I thought..

Day 4

We slept in until about 8am at the Laguna Campground after spending the prior night hiking and didn’t make it in until about 11:45. The plan for the day was to get a shower at the campground and then start hiking to the Sunrise Trailhead area for the night. As we were making our coffee and breakfast with Rob and Michaela the host came buy to collect some fees for the prior night since we didn’t pay upon entering. He was very understanding that we didn’t pay when we got there so we payed the steep $22 dollar a night rate, which has gone up by two dollars since being there last. He was nice enough to even bring all of my change back in quarters so we could all get a shower before heading out. Rob and Michaela were on their way up the trail by 10 am and we told them we would meet then about halfway to our destination at the Pioneer Mail picnic area. Sugarpine and myself took turns taking showers and laying some clothes out in the sun to dry that we also washed while we were in the shower. It was super refreshing to get a shower, even only being 4 days into this long trip. 

As we were heading out of the campground we met “George” who was lightning fast and had already logged close 15 miles and was looking for a shower himself. Then as we got close to Sunrise Highway we spotted Buddy Backpacker and his mom walking into campground looking for some shade and showers. Buddy is 6 years old out hiking the PCT with his mom and has already done Appalachian Trail last year. We were back on the PCT at around 11:30 am which was a little late but we were feeling great after sleeping in and a shower. This area that we were hiking in is the same route we took for our full moon hikes up to Garnet Peak. On the way to Pioneer Mail picnic area we chatted with a guy named Eric who was out to hike for 30 hours straight to celebrate his 30th birthday that day. We haven’t seen him since and can only assume we was successful. 

The beautiful view of the desert

The beautiful view of the desert

Does this look familiar? It's Garnet Peak where we do our full moon hikes

Does this look familiar? It’s Garnet Peak where we do our full moon hikes

Sugarpine and Chas

Sugarpine and Chas

After getting to the picnic area in the early afternoon we hung out with Rob and Michaela and had some snacks and enjoyed a beautiful water cache which had some warm Gatorades, which are just as delicious on a hot day! Troll, who we briefly met while hiking out of Laguna was there taking a long lunch also. Troll has done both the AT and the PCT and is back for more. He hikes in a kilt and sandals and is so friendly and full of wisdom. Also another man by the name of “Santa’s Helper” was hanging around the picnic area riding out the heat before continuing on. He is a southern gentleman who has done the AT in the past and is super friendly as well.

Some trail magic! We got Gatorade!

Some trail magic! We got Gatorade!

Mile 55!

Mile 55!

It was time to start heading for our destination for the evening so we could make it before sundown so we headed north. It had just started to cool down and we made the short climb up to Kwaayami Point and then it was a fairly flat hike with a sudden drop to our right all the way down to the Anza Borrego Desert floor. Sugarpine and I did a portion of this hike back on Valentines day to about mile 56 which had some potential for wind protection from large boulders for a night of camping. We decided to press on past this point and make it to about mile 59.5 where the spur trail to Sunrise trailhead was. The sun was starting to set and we saw Troll again sitting at the spur making his dinner for the night. There was a water cache there, but all the jugs were empty. He decided to head over to the area to make camp with us. We saw a fire tank and a horse trough with would be our water source for the evening and the next day heading out. It was windy and we found some shelter in the hills to the south of the tank. One other person was already set up for the evening, It was George! We never even saw him pass us on trail after his shower at the campground! We all set up our tents and Troll cowboy camped under the stars! While making our dinner Troll came to chat with us about how the PCT has changed, and general concerns we had about the trail and he was more than happy to answer our questions. One of the nicest guys we’ve met out here so far! We were all in bed by 9 PM to get ready for our next big day down to Rodriguez fire tank, and maybe Scissors Crossings at Mile 77!

Our little posse, Sugarpine, Chas, Rob, and Micaela

Our little posse, Sugarpine, Chas, Rob, and Micaela

Sunrise Trailhead

Sunrise Trailhead

Micaela and Rob talking to Mike while he filters his water

Micaela and Rob talking to Mike while he filters his water