Met my parents and Selva at Scissors Crossing for a nice long break at lunch under the bridge.
A note about bridges and PCT hikers. Bridges keep the sun and rain off, and at some, like this one, people are apt to leave caches of water and sometimes snacks for hikers. Hikers like bridges.
Camping here with Mighty Mouse, Barbra and Wildcard, who we met under the bridge at Scissors Crossing.
Got up and it was quite chilly, it's amazing how cool it can get at night, and then hot in the day in the desert areas. This morning was cool enough to wear a puffy jacket while packing up. But, by the time I was ready to hike it had warmed up some, plus once I start hiking, I generate plenty of heat, so it'd have to be very cold to actually hike in anything insulated.
Today started out with the trail dropping down off the ridge where we camped, to the road crossing called Scissors Crossing. There's a bridge under the road there where people maintain a cache of water for hikers. And also, my parents and girlfriend were supposed to meet us there for a brief visit.
First, we descended about 1300 feet in elevation. Descending is hard on knees and ankles, especially carrying a fully loaded pack.
After the descent, we got to walk along the sometimes rocky, sometimes sandy trail in the heat. Sand is not an enjoyable trail surface, just imaging walking on soft beach sand hauling a 35-45 pound pack and doing that for miles. From our camp last night to the Scissors Crossing bridge was 8.5 miles, so not a tiny jaunt.
At any rate, we made it to the bridge and met up with my parents and girlfriend, who brought water and energy bars and fruit.
Under the bride there were a bunch of bottles of water for hikers. This is one of a few locations where kind people called "Trail Angels" maintain a water cache. The reason is that between our last campsite up by Rodriguez Spring Road and the next water the distance is something like 23.5 miles, and it's all hot desert terrain in between. To make that distance hikers would need to carry, oh, I don't know, a lot of water. So, in a few locations like this, people have taken it upon themselves to stock water during the hiking season.
A quick note on Trail Angels. Basically anyone who does good stuff for the trail or hikers is known as a Trail Angel. Some might give a ride to hikers going to or from a town for supplies. Or stock a water cache, or leave a cooler full of sodas and beers along the trail, or open up their home to stinky hikers for showers and a place to stay, or whatever other needs a hiker might have. Without Trail Angels, the trail would be possible, but they help make it more of a community.
While we were under the bridge, people stopped by with more water jugs and also candy and fruit and other food.
Met a couple other hikers as well. One guy from Montana said he planning to finish the PCT then hike on the Pacific Northwest Trail that intersects the PCT near the Canadian border and hike home. I don't think I saw him again, and he was likely moving faster than I was, so I hope he was able to walk all the way home.
We also met Wildcard, who is camped with Mighty Mouse and Barbra and I tonight in a small dry wash part way up the climb out of the desert valley.
Tonight's camp is dry, meaning no water. So, water for dinner and breakfast and a portion of tomorrow's hike had to be carried with us from Scissors Crossing.
For this part of the hike, and through to the I-15 crossing, Mighty Mouse knows the trail from her and Tim's hike a couple years ago. That meant that she knew of this camp site, which was a good thing, since there aren't a whole lot of places to pitch a tent along this stretch as the trail winds its way along the side of a slope, heading up from the desert floor.
Photos from today: https://www.b-photo.com/Travel/PCT-2016-Day-by-Day/April/April-9/
Mighty Mouse's blog for today: http://www.timandgerri.com/blog---2016/day-8-9-april-mile-6843-7937