Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Taking a Slash and Outhouse Shenanigans
Tradeja went on to talk to HoJo, who heard some of the commotion the night before, but didn't actually see anything since the border patrol turned around when I told them that there were at least three more 'campers' in that direction and I hadn't seen anyone run by.
And a short while after that, a border patrol agent wandered down the trail, saying he was part of the group causing the ruckus the night before and apologizing for disturbing us. (I can't complain--it was the most excitement I had on the whole trail thus far!)
At first I thought it was remarkably thoughtful for one of them to walk through our campsites this morning to apologize for the commotion, but I think there were actually still looking for the illegals they missed in the darkness. When I walked up to the road to fill up with the water cache, I saw a couple of border patrol vehicle posted along the road that had not been there the day before, and at least three of the officers were walking along the length of the road. There's not a lot of water in this part of the country, and I'm guessing that they expect the illegals they missed to return this way at some point. Tradeja seemed to think they caught the 'leader' the night before, and the ones who were still running loose may not know where to go or what to do expect return back to the road once they think the coast is clear. And the border patrol seemed to act like that would likely happen as well.
I took me time heading up the the Third Gate Water Cache, so named because it was at the third gate one finds after coming out of Scissors Crossing. This water cache is located nearly half a mile from the nearest road, and all of the water is packed in by trail angels that carry it on their backs--quite a strenuous undertaking. They say hikers shouldn't rely on water caches since they do sometimes run dry, but there were several dozen gallons of water available, and I felt a little stupid arriving while still having five liters of water on my back. Five liters of water is heavy, and to think I didn't need to carry any of it all that distance. *sigh*
Mother Goose is quite the character. I'm not sure how old she is, but she's probably one of the oldest folks on the trail and has hiked the AT five times or something like that. I think she's done the PCT a couple of times already as well. And she says words you wouldn't expect from someone named Mother Goose. =)
It was rather remarkable--somehow, I ended up at the top of a mountain with four women thru-hikers. Women are generally a minority on the trail (though not nearly as lopsided as in bygone eras), and I wind up with four of them. It must be a good sign.
I set up camp near Motor and Lisa, and an hour or so later Mr Mountain Goat arrived, an Australian fellow who's an English teacher in the real world. Alas, I wouldn't be the only guy among the girls anymore, but we were still outnumbered two to one, which is quite unusual anyhow. Goat explained how us Americans are butchering the English language, and asked about useful idioms that we could use on the trail. "To spit the dummy," for instance, basically means becoming very angry. A dummy is a pacifier in Australian, and like an upset baby would spit out its pacifier to scream and yell, so does an adult.
I excused myself, saying that I "had to take a slash," an idiom meaning to take a wizz.
That man is funny, though, and he's keeping a blog going with his iPhone at Postholer.com. I also heard this story about the three of them riding out the big wind storm in the outhouse for much of the night. Oh, joy. =)
Posted by Ryan at 12:52 PM