Day 6: A Return to Civilization

Started: Camp Site (64.0)

Ended: Scissors Crossing (77.0)

Total: 13.0

Our goal today was to hike to Scissors Crossing and hitch into the cool town of Julian. We got up at 5 a.m. and I was hiking by 5:30. I’ve really been pushing the idea of getting up early to beat the heat.

The trail started to scorch by nine. By 11, any climbs I made sucked the life out of me. I found relief in a little nest of grass under two bushes. That little shelter turned the scorching wind into a wonderful sweat drying breeze.

I had to pay attention during most of the hike, because the path was very thin, and one misstep and I would tumble hundreds of feet to my death. Occationally, there would be obstacles like rocks or thorny bushes that required me to lean over the edge. Not a hike for someone afraid of hights.

As this was my second big water carry, I felt that carrying eight liters for 25 miles was too much. However, I was down to my last liter with over five miles to go. Fortunately, those last miles were on the flat desert floor. It was hellishly hot, but my pack was very light, so with some good tunes, I hiked full speed. There was no sense leaving anything in the tank for later.

At the Scissors Crossing bridge, there was a water cache, so I consumed a liter in record time.

Fishtank and Brian hitched. I called for a Lyft, while waiting with to older hikers, M&M and Two Soles. These two hikers absolutely rock. Slow and steady, they do not stop. While we waited, Ghost, a famous trail angel, came by and picked us up. He refused money for gas and we received a guided tour of the little town.

Inspiring hikers M&M and Two Soles

In town I checked into the Julian Gold Rush Hotel. I am staying in the General Grant room. It is a bit more expensive, but they do your laundry. For $60, I have clean clothes, a clean body and a full stomach. After six days in the desert without a shower, the little bottle of shampoo was not enough to clean my short hair. I was that disgusting.

I supported Carmen’s, a hiker friendly restaurant that will be closing soon while waiting for my laundry. Until it was done, I cruised around town wearing my just my laundry shorts, outer shell and shoes with no socks. I am truly living the hiker lifestyle.

Now in clean clothes, Brian and I had a couple of beers at the local brew pub, followed by some Italian for dinner. I think hiker hunger is beginning to kick in.

The plan tomorrow is to take one more wonderful shower, eat breakfast, buy lunch, snacks and some breakfast bars for two days, and leave for the trail by noon. I still have two dinners left. We have another long stretch with little water. Warner Springs is 32 miles away where I’ll pick up a box for the next five days.

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