Day 5: (16.9 miles)
mile 62.4 – 79.3 / 4703 ft – 2259 ft
The sun shown brightly, as we slept soundly through the 0530 morning alarm. Me thinks we were just a bit tired. After a jolt of coffee (Starbucks VIA is the bomb!) and a healthy lathering of sunscreen, we set off on our next destination…Scissors Crossing at mile 77. It was as if yesterday’s weather never happened. No signs of snow, hail, or cold besides our wind chapped faces and lips. It was later than we would normally prefer to start (0700) as it was nearly 0900 and in contrast to yesterday, it was actually warm…nearly 55 degrees. It would later swing up to the mid 80’s by the time we reached Scissors Crossing. As we went we discovered that we were less than 30 minutes from the spacious campsites at mile 64. The Imaginary Friends had already left. By chance we had wandered into another unscheduled cache of water, left by trail angels in early February.
The desert is an amazing place. Not the stark moonscape that most would think. I can see where a Geologist and/or rock hound would go gonzo out here with all the diverse structures, rock formations and constant change in terrain as you descend into the “desert” floor.
We have decided that rocks are like snow flakes, no two are alike, and each has its own beauty. Some seemed woefully misplaced, and we wondered how it came to rest in the spot we discovered it. Ok, some of you are thinking the sun must have gotten waay too hot for us to be thinking that deeply. It wasn’t…we have lots of time to wonder. It helps pass the time and the mileage. It appears that it will be an early bloom, and we may be lucky enough to catch it just right, as signs of color was starting to emerge.
What is so striking is how small the colorful and intricate the flowers were in contrast to the drab green of most of the vegetation, and the brown and rust striations that weave through the terrain as well strolled through this complex ecosystem. We lunched at the Rodriguez Truck Spur and continued on. There we met another thru-hiker “Peru” who had completed the trail previously and was doing it again, this time with her boyfriend as her personal trail angel. As we began to descend onto the desert floor the temperature continued to rise and our feet began to “talk loudly at us. Finally 2 more miles and with any luck, cold beer and/or soda (notice we listed beer first. In fact if we had to choose between the creation of the wheel and beer as man’s greatest invention…BEER wins hands down!) Once on the sandy desert floor, in go the earphones, and on goes the music. The music is a great distraction and like morphine for the feet. We reach Scissors Crossing a little before 5pm and whom do we find, yet once again? The Imaginary Friends. We ask if its true. Is there beer here? “Why yes there is, and soda too.” We didn’t listen past their confirmation of beer.
Off come the packs. Off come the boots. Down goes the beer. Downright best beer we’ve ever tasted. The beauty of it is that is was Coors, which for us evoked many past adventures in our younger years when Coors was the “cool” beer. As we rested, more hikers began to trickle in. One in particular had us rolling. “Shadowfax”, because as he went to sign into the registry, he saw ‘2MoreMiles” in the log. He asked, in a UK accent, “Who’s 2 more miles?”. ‘We are’, we cringe. He then exclaims while laughing, “Have I got a story for you!” and proceeds to tell us about two hikers that had come upon the water cache at Cibbets Flat where we had left the remainder of our 2.5 gallon jug for other hikers to use, and had written in sharpie “2Moremiles…enjoy”, meaning water courtesy of ‘2moremiles’. So the story goes something like this: Shadowfax is on the porch of the Mt. Laguna Lodge towards the evening, when two completely drained and sopping wet hikers appear. He asks them how they’re doing, and they reply exacerbated, “Some bastard at Cibbets Flat wrote on a water container that there was only 2 more miles! There weren’t…it was like 10!” Ooops! Not what we intended, as there is clearly well more than 2 miles from Cibbets Flat to Mt. Laguna. We all had a good laugh, and thinking we might need to skedaddle asked if they were just behind him. Luckily they were taking a day or so off, so we still had some time to relax before we made the push for 2 more miles and a campsite at mile 79.3, and a sweet one at that!
No wind and as flat as you can get. Another good day. We were glad we made the 2 mile climb out of Scissors, and the beer definitely helped!
Next stop Barrel Springs!