San Felipe Hills Going Up

— April 29, 2012

San Felipe Hills - PCT
Have shade, will travel. Photo by Brett Fisher.
April 29, 2012

Carol gives us a ride back to Scissors Crossing. Carol has been volunteering all weekend at the Kick Off, and giving rides to hikers. Thank you Carol.

Carol is Brandon’s grandmother. Carol and Brandon are from Iowa. Brandon is 17 and attempting the PCT by himself. He’s only hiked as far as Lake Morena and camped next to us at the Kick Off. He started on the miles we’ve already covered this morning. We assure Carol that Brandon will make some hiking friends and not be by himself very much of the trail.

We hike up and up. It’s hot. shade is rare but a breeze helps. I enjoy the desert in bloom as we walk: ocotillo, prickly pear, barrel cactus, century plant, and many I don’t know.

We add to the meagre shade on our breaks with our umbrellas. Natalie doesn’t feel good and doesn’t want to eat. I giver her half of my lunch – rice, peanuts, dried pineapple, and chicken with Asian spices. A poor, rehydrated imitation of Thai pineapple fried rice. But to me the hiker it tastes good. And apparently it tastes good to Natalie. She eats it.

A number of hikers pass us. I’m getting used to being passed. That’s just how it is on the trail for me. At least there’s no significant dust in their wake.

Scissors Crossing - PCT
Carol, thanks for the ride back out to Scissors Crossing. Photo by Brett Fisher.
Scissors Crossing - PCT
Working up the resolve to head out in the heat at Scissors Crossing. Photo by Carol on Ashley Fisher’s camera.
Scissors Crossing - PCT
A different sort of cache. Not water. Hiker humor. Ha. Photo by Ashley Fisher.

Late afternoon and we find some good shade. Time for a long break. Natalie takes a nap in the middle of the trail. Literally stretched out in the trail like a snake. But in the shade and not the sun. I wonder how it will work if hikers need to pass us now. But I don’t wonder for long. I just go to sleep, too.

We know we have a few miles to go until we reach water and a place to camp. We rouse ourselves and start walking again.

The sun starts to set. I catch up with Nat. We talk about how it’s still a half mile to water. But we’re totally beat. Ashley catches up and we discuss camping now or walking on. We started the day with five liters of water each — 11 pounds – heavy — so we have enough for the night but not much for the morning. We suss out a relatively flat spot about 20 feet off the trail. It has a view of the valley to the south. We all agree. Home for the night.

PCT Day 12: 13 miles hiked. Camped near trail mile 90.5.

Ocotillo - San Felipe Hills - PCT
See the shiny umbrella? Yes, the daughters are way in front of me. Umm, because I’m stopping to smell the ocotillo … Photo by Brett Fisher.
Ocotillo - San Felipe Hills - PCT
Close up of ocotillo. Photo by Brett Fisher.
Century Plant - San Felipe Hills - PCT
And stopping to check out the century plant. Photo by Brett Fisher.
Century Plant - San Felipe Hills - PCT
Close up of century plant. Photo by Brett Fisher.

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