Day 5 - San felipe hills to warner spRings meadoWs
April 1 | Miles 83.1 - 103.5
I finally paid the price this morning. I woke up with a cramped right calf and battered feet going on their third day without a wash–not pretty to behold.
Nevertheless, I had slept well and the sunrise was inspiring. I was hiking by 7 in the cool arid morning.
The superbloom was definitely in full force today, dotting the hills with color. And believe it or not there is no natural water source in this area. In fact the last water had been the cache at Scissors Crossing. The whole section from yesterday’s dry canyon up to Barrel Spring today must be at least a 30 mile natural dry stretch. Thank God for the trail angels who haul in water to the Scissors Crossing and Third Gate caches–if not for them, hikers would have to carry the weight of 30 miles’ worth of water over several days on their backs. I’ll let you do the math.
Anyway, I was a thirsty camel as I trudged toward Third Gate under the blanket of the hazy morning.
Upon arrival, I signed the trail register and made a little contribution to the donation jar left for the trail angels who stock the cache.
Leaving the cache, the day turned quiet and hot. I crossed paths with a friendly snake.
And then… I passed the 100 mile mark! Just gotta do that 26 more times.
The trail wound down gradually from the hills, offering views of the bright green San Felipe Valley and even, at one point, the Salton Sea off in the distance. Parched again, I finally made it to Barrel Spring, and hung there with a bunch of hikers gathered around the sweet sweet agua (there had been reports of floating dead mice in the trough, and warning signs to filter the water. At least I didn’t get any floaties). One hiker even offered me gummies and chocolate because, of course, it was my birthday.
Leaving the spring, the trail began to traverse a series of sandy meadows as the afternoon sunlight waned.
At last I found a gem of a spot atop a little hill between meadows, and enjoyed the day’s last hour of sunlight while setting up camp.
I am so grateful for the chance to see all this beauty.
In other news, I have become full-on filthy.
The Pad Thai was great though. Cheers!