So today we took a drive out to Lake Morena and down Hauser Creek Rd in an attempt to stash some water at Hauser Creek so as to reduce the amount of water we will carry from the southern terminus. Luckily, or unluckily we timed it so as to be directly behind a Border Patrol truck and the agent who was opening what we discovered to be locked gate posted “Private Property”. We told the agent what we were trying to do. He didn’t really dissuade us from stashing water, he just told us, “No, I can’t let you drive in”, even though google earth show vehicles on that road all the way to where the PCT and Hauser Creek cross paths. (Now that we look closer the vehicles are all white trucks of the Border Patrol variety…darn) We considered for a fraction of a second (but then thought back to our pre-retirement days and questions we loathed) and thought better of asking him for a ride and/or to “be a dear” and drop the water for us. The real issue would be the 6 mile or so walk with no pack to carry it “easily”, and frankly we weren’t really up for what would be 12 mile hike (in the rain), as we had other stashes to make.
So…we, albeit reluctantly, accepted the fact that on day one we will have to hump 5 liters of water to Lake Morena, and turned around…argh! We made our way to Cibbets Flat campground, stashed some water, cause NO WAY IN HELL were we (maybe he) going to walk down the hill and back up for water when you can drive your big ass 4×4 truck up the hill and drop several gallons to use and share. While there we met 3 other PCT hikers (only remembered one guy, John Car…like Johnny Carson without “nny” or the “son”) who mentioned they saw a guy get “airlifted” out at around mile 6 of the PCT because he ran out of water and food. We thought maybe they were trying to scare us off from hiking the trail thinking maybe we were not serious hiker types (we weren’t driving a Subaru, we weren’t in our “hiker uniforms”, and I (Dee) had my bluetooth in my ear, and a small dog roaming nearby in a matching collar and harness), but they weren’t. It was true! (Check out the PCTA.org website for the full story) So getting back to today’s outing…we made our way to Mt. Laguna Store/Lodge where we dropped off our first resupply package. It was FREEZING or at least close to it. While there we spoke with John (name of the day) who was running the store and discussed the current and upcoming weather (warmer Sunday with another front moving in on Tuesday…just in time for us to arrive at Mt. Laguna) and might we think about spending a night or two at the lodge. One half says “no” the other half (the one that gets cold) says “we’ll see, but YES if it’s snowing”. I guess we’ll find out when we find out. John did mention the other places that are fairly easy to stash water near the trial, and an odd fact (we thought at the time) that it’s really windy up around the “Lucky 5 Ranch”. Really windy was an understatement, we nearly lost the lid on the back of our truck. It took some quick action, understanding of aerodynamics, brute force (aka body mass), and a bit of rope to keep the lid from becoming an installation art piece somewhere in the Anza Borrego Desert. Once we were able to reseat the lid and further lock it down, we continued along the Sunrise Hwy (once we thawed) for two more stashes and finally to Scissors Crossing to add to the water already stashed/cached there. It was cool (as in neat, but it was also cool as in cold) to view the trail off in the near distance from the roadway knowing that we will be tiny figures (as seen from afar) on that same trail in T minus 4 days! OMG!