Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'll Walk One Hundred Miles....

May 1: Almost immediately after leaving camp, I saw a small container sitting off on the side of the trail. It was strange, unexpected, and if it were found in a city, someone would probably call in the bomb squad. I was pretty sure that nobody was trying to bomb the PCT, however, so I went ahead and opened it, and the register inside labeled it as the Lead Weight Cache. It's a lot like the water cache, with a warning to take "only what you need" and leave the rest for others who need it. And the container was filled with, yes, lead weights. Hahaha! I laughed and laughed. That's pretty damned funny. I don't know who lugged that heavy thing up there, but they deserve a prize. Reading the logbook in it was just as entertaining with comments such as "left 5, took 4" or a treaty about all of the uses that a lead weight provides (blisters, back spasms, yadda, yadda, yadda). I took pictures, added my own thanks, but decided to leave all of the lead weights for others. I didn't need any.

I caught up with Motor on the trail, and we ended up hiking most of the afternoon together. According to our guide books, the 100-mile mark on the trail was coming up, and we were discussing the little messages people sometimes leave in rocks. The day before, we saw one that read "Canada" with an arrow pointing north along the PCT. On the AT, we'd often see them at significant mile markers, such as at 100 or 1000. When we didn't see a 100 mile marker for the PCT, we decided to make our own.

We walked down the trail a bit to find a wide point along the path to fit three decent-sized digits, and I started "excavating" rocks for the project while Motor arranged them into numbers. She started putting it on the side of the trail, but I convinced her to position it directly on the trail where people would actually have to step over it. I liked the idea of people being able to take a single step and saying, "I've hiked 100 miles right.... NOW!" Truth be told, though, neither of us had any way to accurately measure distances, so our 100 mile marker was only an estimate. I've always wondered if those mileage markers on that AT were accurate--I always took them at their word since I had nothing better to go by, and they always seemed to be at appropriately the correct location.

While working on the project, I joked that, "Just wait--we'll walk another 200 feet up the trail and find out that someone else has already done it." She thought it would be hilarious to set up three of them over the course of a mile to really confuse people, which was an idea that really appealed to me as well.

"I always wondered who created these things," I told her. It seemed satisfying to finally know--people like us! =) I also always wanted to know how accurate the placement of those were--and now I know--completely wild-ass guesses! (Well, okay, educated guesses.) It was a heck of a lot of fun to do, though.

Onward we continued.....

At Barrel Springs, we stopped to rest. A trail angel had left sodas in the spring, fresh and cold. Interestingly, all of the diet colas floated in the water while the non-diet colas sank to the bottom. I wonder if that pattern holds true for most all diet and non-diet colas, or if just these particular brands happened to work out that way. I didn't realize that any types of full soda cans could float in water, though. That alone looked pretty bizarre.

Quite a party of people formed at the springs. Biloxi was already there, and we learned that he was artist who created the Canada photo op out of rocks and seemed pleased that so many people liked it and had taken pictures of it. Pie was already there as well. Mother Goose, Mr Mountain Goat, and Wyoming arrived shortly thereafter. We didn't even know that Wyoming was behind us--she had camped a couple of miles short of the water cache where the rest of us camped.

Biloxi planned to stopped there for the night. He was having knee troubles and was in no rush to get to Warner Springs since it was already too late to get his maildrop from the post office before it would close, and it wouldn't open again until Monday. Everyone else left to continue their hikes.

I stayed behind because Amanda was scheduled to pick me up around 3:00 that afternoon from the road crossing another 0.2 miles down the trail, and Biloxi and I kicked around a few hours until she arrived in a rental car decorated with "PCT Support Vehicle" written on the windows. Biloxi wanted a ride into Warner Springs to buy some stuff at a convenience store, so we obliged, then drove him back to Barrel Springs.

Then Amanda and I headed towards civilization hoping to find cheaper accommodations than can be found in Warner Springs and ended up in Temecula. We were surprised that it wasn't really any cheaper, but at least we had wi-fi access in the room (which the accommodations in Warner Springs didn't have), and Temecula was a far better place for resupply options.


Anonymous said...

It's well-known that diet sodas float, non-diet sodas sink. The diet sodas float because the soda is basically the density of water but there's a bit of air in the can. The non-diet sodas also have a bit of air, but the sugar dissolved in the liquid increases its density to considerably higher than water, so the can sinks.

-- Kirbert

Ileen said...

Really like your posts. Am reading daily. Like your pics!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Interesting facts about the diet sodas.

The PCT Support Vehicle was cute!

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers