Hours hiked: 8
Mile Mark: 108
When the alarm went off this morning I was incredibly sleepy. I mumbled and rolled over as Keith turned it off. Sometimes you have those sort of mornings. We eventually rolled out of bed and packed up camp. Our first few miles were along ridges with beautiful views of the valley below. The wind from yesterday had stuck around, but it wasn’t quite as bad. The sun shone down on us and it was a very pleasant first half of the day.
We began to descend down into a valley and as we turned a corner saw a decent size group stopped on the trail. They were cheering and having a great old time. Very curious Keith and I approached. It was the 100 mile mark! We had made it the first 100 miles! Elated we continued down the valley and into a nice little grove of oak trees. There was a nice water faucet there, but after chatting with each other a bit we figured we had enough water to go to the water supply at mile 108.
We headed back up into the hills. The terrain suddenly reminded me of that from day 1 and we had some semi-nostalgic conversation about what had happened the last 100 miles. We climbed over and down a hill and what laid before my eyes did not necessarily thrill me. It was a long flat stretch which was similar to that of Kansas but drier. The wind picked up as we made our way across the plain. Being blown this way and that, I was incredinly thankful that it wad another cloudy, cool day. Crossing this section in direct sunlight would’ve been awful.
Ahead, we saw a group of people standing on a ridge. “Is that the Eagle Rocks people talk about?” Keith asked. “It must be,” I said, “but I though it was further down the trail.” Nope, it was Eagle Rock we had just sped across the plain. It was still incredibly windy, so we took our pictures and headed out. We walked a ways more across flat ground before going back into the hills.
Around mile 108 we stopped to look at our map. The water source should be right here. Keith had seen a stream down the valley on our walk through the trees but that was a little way back. We walked back up the trail and decided to make our way down the valley to a small stream. It was pretty clear that no one really used this section of stream. The stream was a ways away from the trail and pretty secluded. So we decided to have a long food break, filter some water, and “shower” off a bit. Keith had brought a small, cloth, foldable bucket of which we filtered water into. We used this to wash up and I washed my hair too. It felt very nice to be all clean again. After hanging out a bit more, we packed up and walked a mile down trail to our campspot.
When we arrived we set up the tent and organized our packs. I cleaned out the inside of the tent. It had gotten very crusty after the last few days. While Keith worked on his pack, I used our extra water to wash my socks. Today was a day of down time a cleaning. After being in such crust the last few days, it was nice to be near water and able to humidify everything a bit. We ate our dinner of rice and tortillas and climbed into a clean tent with a pot of Sleepytime Tea awaiting us.
Suddenly our neighbor started to make some rustling noises. It sounded like he was struggling alot with something. After a little while we heard “Hey, Hey! I’m going to need some help!” Keith poped out of the tent while putting his shoes on. He chuckled to himself a bit and said “Ooo dear.” “What is it?” I asked. “A whole heard of cows!” Oh did I forget to meantion this whole area is just a massive grazing field? We both hopped out of the tent. Our poor neighbor was scared half to death pulling his tent away from them. They were incredibly curious Holsteins just looking for some water. Keith and I hearded them up out of where we were camping and ran them up the hillside and creek area. They eventually doubled back to where we were set up, but moved along decently quickly and thus didn’t bother anyone. Always something fun each day. Never a dull moment on the PCT.