May 6, 2015
Campsite near dry creek bed just S. of Chariot Canyon Rd. (63.7) to Campsite in creekbed just past Scissors Crossing (79.4)
15.7 PCT miles today
80.4 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 1,929 ft, – 2,967 ft
Even though the PCT isn’t as crowded as we thought it’d be this year, we’ve still seen plenty of other hikers out on the trail with us. At this point, we’re learning that if we camp in an established campsite that is mentioned on our maps, we won’t be camping alone. Last night and tonight we’ve shared little plots of land with our fellow hikers, and as the days have gone by, we’ve started to get to know one another a bit. There are a group of us who all travel at a similar pace, and throughout the day, we like to play a little game called leap-frog.
This morning we heard some hikers getting up and hitting the trail as early as 5:30. We were off just a little after 7, and started our climb with our new friends Justin from Vancouver and his girlfriend Mary, from Montana. We had camped with these two on night 3 as well, so it wasn’t our first time meeting. We had a great little conversation, but when Don and I stopped to brush our teeth (we had waited to turn the corner around a ridge line to get out of the wind) we wished them well and off they went. As it turned out, that wouldn’t be the last we’d see of them today. A few minutes later they stopped for some water and we passed them by. Then when we stopped for a pee break they caught up to us. This happened all day long, and not just with these two. We passed about 7 different people throughout the morning, just to be passed by them again when we took our lunch. It gets a little humorous after a while, but it’s also quite fun getting to know one another and finding out little tidbits of info as the day goes on. We certainly feel a bit invested in some of our comrades’ success and really hope that we’ll see some of these same hikers up in Washington.
Besides playing leap-frog all day long, our hike consisted of a breezy long stretch of downhill through some truly inhospitable desert. We moved one lazy snake off the trail using a pole (he couldn’t have cared less about us), took some photos of a rattlesnake I spotted just off trail who had just eaten (he had a big bulge in his belly), and got to watch some fighter jets blast through the valley in front of us at eye level (Don’s favorite moment). We also experienced our first official trail magic!! Two wonderful ladies have stocked the cache at Scissors Crossing with water, homemade baked goods, and candy. There was even a place to toss our trash. What a great find at the end of a successful day.