May 09, 2016
Stealth Site(80.4) to Barrel Springs(101.1) 20.7 Miles
Today I hit my first milestone, 100 miles!!! It felt much easier than my first hundred miles on the AT. That doesn't mean it was all easy. The desert weather has been killer. It has truly been the story of fire and ice. Mt. Laguna was freezing and wet, but other than that it has been hot during the day and cold at night.
I was up and on the trail by 6 am this morning. I'm trying to take advantage of the cooler morning temps. By 10:30 am it was been warm, by 11 it is just plain hot. A lot of people have the goal of hiking 10 miles by 10 am. I actually hiked 11 by 10.
My goal this morning was to make it to a maintained water cache 11 miles away. All water caches are supposed to be treated as unreliable water sources, but this particular one is reliable. Some wonderful person drives pallets of water up to a remote spot in the wilderness. I am very thankful that they take the time and expense to help out hikers. Without that water source I would have had a 20 mile dry stretch.
I had planned on taking an extended break here, but I wanted to make it a little farther before it got too hot. About 30 minutes later it was blistering hot out. I stopped for a quick snack break and decided it was time to break out my umbrella. I was glad that I did. It immediately felt 10 degrees cooler out.
Other than how hot it was today it was a relatively easy day. I made it to camp by 3 pm. I could have kept going, but I'm still trying to take it easy and not push it too hard. When I first started my body was done after 12 miles. Now I can comfortably go 16-17 miles. Anything after that is pretty tough physically.
There are a lot of people in camp tonight. Most of the 15 people here are mostly new faces. I've been very surprised at how antisocial people have been. There hasn't really been much sense of trail community. When somebody new walks into camp or a water source they are largely ignored. I'm hoping I'm just in a strange bubble. Tonight is better than it has been, but it still isn't quite like the AT.
I'm trying something new tonight, cowboy camping. Cowboy camping is when you just layout your sleeping pad and sleeping bag. The weather is so dry out here that most people do this every night. I like my tent so I'm not sure how often I will do this, but I figured I should at least try it once.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, small-mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
- Mark Twain