Got on the trail by 6:30 this morning. We realized shortly after starting that we were only a quarter mile from camping legally.
The trail in the morning was the busiest by far. A combination of it being a Saturday and an even day (bikers are only allowed on this 9 mile section on even numbered days) we saw so many people. Most of them were bikers, probably around 100, and luckily they were all going the opposite direction from us, so we could see them coming instead of having them sneak up on us from behind. They are largely very friendly and courteous. Oddly the signs say that the mountain bikers are supposed to yield to hikers, but this is nearly impossible and certainly improbable in most situations as they are not going to get off there bike going up or down the trail.
We made good time down to the main road where we came upon a really nice stream – our first water for the day. We took the time to do some laundry and fill up our water bottles. Then we continued up the next section of trail. The scenery changed to high desert on the other side of the valley. The afternoon was mostly uphill on exposed trail. Several miles were on a dirt road, however, we did have lunch at a nice little pond and sat in the grass under a shade tree…that was very pleasant.
The sun was out in full force and we felt like we were being broiled by the sun. Despite putting on sunscreen several times today, we both got a bit of red. We got to a very nice spring in the middle of the afternoon and decided to load up in water and hike a few more miles to dry camp. The one good water source in this section was a low flow spring that some others had said they couldn’t find. Fortunately we did find it quickly and picked up as much water as we each have the capacity to carry (3.5 litres). The spot for the water was not marked so we made a little sign out of rocks so other hikers would find it easier.
Not more than 5 minutes after finding the water, we met three other TRT hikers who had just trudged down the rocky slopes to mud lake. They were not happy about it….and we could see why. The slope was quite steep and looked like a general pain in the ass. Plus the water was not clean and it was hot. These three guys had met on the AT in 2012 and were out on the TRT to give them a feel for the PCT as they looked to do it wither the next year nor the year after. We chatted with them for a little bit, talking about the AT and hiking. Nice guys, we should have got their trail names.
It has seemed like we have been totally out of sync with camping at water spots…the distances end up being too short, so we end up walking a few extra miles. So far, we have camped at water twice and dry three times. There is a good chance that tomorrow night will be another dry camp. We found a spot to hammock tonight which has pretty terrible hanging options, but a really great overlook over the lake where we ate dinner. We’re in our hammocks before 8:00. Another good day and we are beat.
Daily Miles: 23 miles
Total Miles: 95 miles