Woke up today about 6:45 and was on the trail by 7:30. Fueled by a breakfast of pop-tarts and some water, I set off to tackle the 8.5 miles to Rodriguez spur road and the next water source. I caught up and passed Dumptruck and Squatter in the first couple miles and then Crumbs not too long after that. I hiked and talked with Crumbs for a mile or two and then sped off to the water. I got to the water hole about 10:00, where a number of hikers were gathered, and found myself a spot to do the usual routine of sit down, get my fill of water, have a bite to eat, and air out my feet. Some of the hikers at the water hole included Erin, Nick, Balls, Sunshine, Melanie, Kylie, Wiz, Ben, and Sam, as well as others.
After about an hour break, I set off again with two liters of water for the next 8.5 miles to the next water at Scissors Crossing where there is usually a cache of water, unless it has been emptied by other thru-hikers. I hiked the first half of this stretch alone before I caught up with Erin and Nick who had left Rodriguez spur about 30 min before me. The second half I hiked and talked with Erin.
When we arrived at Scissors Crossing we were surprises by not one, but two helpings of trail magic! The first was a styrofoam cooler of sports drinks and corona which had just been dropped off by Trooper, a trail angel who hiked the trail last year, and also many gallons of water. I took a sports drink and enjoyed its sugary goodness while relaxing in the shade of a juniper. The second helping of trail magic occurred when Sugar Momma drove up with a box of fresh oranges and grapefruit! Those of us there each enjoyed the fresh fruit, as it was something none of us were carrying with us. During the 2.5 hours I sat at the water cache, I drank a lot of water and enjoyed hanging out with a similar group of hikers that were at Rodriguez spur.
At 4:30 a group of us (Kylie, Wiz, Annie, Speed Bump, and I) took off to tackle the climb out of the valley where the roads at Scissors Crossing converged. The climb was long and hot, but we managed to make about 8 more miles before finding a nice big camping area at the top of the ridge around 7:30. along the way we also picked up Mr. F-ing Gentle Spirit and the six of us cowboy camped under the stars. In addition to checking out the constellations, I saw an awesome orange-tinted shooting star that streaked it's way across 1/4 of the sky before the comet broke into smaller pieces and faded to black again. It was one of the coolest I have ever witnessed.
Also of note I saw three snakes today. The first was a small black snake that raced across the trail (I'm assuming a racer snake), the second was a fatter and slower black snake with a green tint to it, and the third was a rattlesnake which was hiding in a bush just off the side of the trail.
I am camped at about mile 85/86 so tomorrow I may try to make it to Warner Springs (mile 110), but I'll see how I feel tomorrow after putting in my biggest mileage day yet, and most miles in a three-day stretch.
I love my life!
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