Desert hiking again
Pacific Crest Trail Quest '08 - Page 7
Today was a long day. I hiked 28 miles on feet that were sore from being wet all day
yesterday. The trail was never level and went up and down all day. I think it was the most
up and down I've done. I also think I'm the most sore I've been on the whole hike.
I wanted to be a lone wolf today, but there were other hikers everywhere. I must have seen
two dozen people today. On the river, I rarely saw that many in a week. It seems like the
trail gets busier every day as I catch up to the pack.
I thought about my parents and what my life might be like if they were still alive today. I'd
probably be married and have kids. I probably wouldn't be out here. Life's tough, but it
could be a whole lot tougher.
I found a nice campsite off the trail where no one will bother me tonight. It's still cold, but
it's supposed to warm up soon.
I didn't see quite as many people today, but I still probably passed 10. Today's hike
brought me back into the desert. Water was scarce, but the temperature was pleasant. I
stopped for a nice nap in the cool tunnel leading under the six lanes of I-14.
After crossing under the interstate, I entered Vasquez Rocks Park. The jagged rock
formations along the five miles of canyon the trail followed were some of the prettiest I've
seen so far.
I spent the night in the town of Aqua Dulee. I started off with a giant pizza at the pizza
parlor, then went to check out the Sauffley's house. The Sauffley's are trail angels in town,
and everyone had told me I needed to stop there. They had quite an operation. There
were 6 big tents with cots to sleep in, and a mobile home with a shower and stove for the
hikers. Donna Sauffley did everyone's laundry, and there were two loner vehicles for
hikers to use as well as a dozen bicycles.
I am well fed and washed and plan on heading out in the morning.
I got on the trail at 8:00 this morning. It was another big day of ups and downs. I came
upon a great cache at twenty miles in with beer, sodas, and lawn chairs. It was hard
leaving the lawn chairs, but there was another family that takes in hikers 7 miles down
The neighbor's dogs barked all night, but the Andersons' was a great place to stay. We all
had pancakes for breakfast. It was time for me to hit the trail. Only one other hiker felt like
leaving. Everyone else was going to stay and watch movies.
Today was more of the same, up and down. I'm really glad the highs are in the 70's
instead of near 100 degrees like they normally are this time of year. Even with the cool
temps, water is still a major concern for me. I still carry way too much and end up at the
next water source with three or four liters already in my pack.
I explored some neat mine shafts today. There were three of them. They were nearly big
enough to stand up in and went about fifty feet into the mountain side. My guidebook says
they were graphite mines. I can't imagine graphite would be worth enough to mine way up
The Andersons don't have giant tents and laundry services, but they do have a big back yard
with plenty of room for tents. They treated the ten or so hikers that showed up to beer and
taco salad. It was a good stop. I plan on getting a late start tomorrow. My feet need the rest.