Day 6: One Hundred Miles!

6 April 2021
Scissors Crossing to Barrel Spring
PCT Mile 77.3 to 101.1

This morning I quietly left my hotel room with the still-sleeping Zac in time to catch a 7am shuttle with a trail angel back from Julian to Scissors Crossing. I guess that time is reserved for the elderly because I was the youngest old white man in the car!

The trail angel drove fast down the steep curves of Banner Grade until he caught up to the car ahead of us. He then proceeded to tailgate them at a distance of about 5 feet all the way down to the desert.

Did I mention that the car in front of us clearly had a rifle in the back seat?

The trail angel then proceeded to pass the car going up a hill across a double yellow line with about 200 yards of visibility.

If I die on the PCT it will be on a highway!

Enter at your own risk!

But this time I made it to the trail alive, intact, and ready to hike.

It’s a steep climb up into the San Felipe Hills but it was cool this morning and I made it up the first 1000 feet with no problem. At my first break I sat to watch a woodpecker flit from one yucca stalk to another as I ate my cold-soaked oatmeal.

Desert Cottontail
California barrel cactus
Desert Agave
California buckwheat
Bearded crypanthia
Coyote tobacco
Beavertail cactus
California chicory
Wild canterbury bells
Echinocereus engelmannii engelmannii
Brittlebush
White daisy tidytips
Yellow tack-stem

Then it started getting hotter and on less-windy slopes I used my umbrella for shade.

Insta-shade!
Eriophyllum confertiflorum confertiflorum
Creamcups
Getting more grasses heading north

It’s 14 miles to the 3rd gate water cache, which is maintained by volunteers (thank you so much!) right in the middle of a 24 mile stretch with no natural water sources. When I made it there around 1pm. There were several other hikers there waiting for it to cool down before continuing, and we chatted as I filled up my water bottles. We were loafing and smelly, which is why we (proudly) call ourselves hikertrash!

The third gate
Whew!
Hikertrash at the water cache

I laid down in the shade for an hour and a half and then continued to hike.

A baby Blainville’s horned lizard

After about 5 miles, I caught up with Sherpa, one of the hikers at the water cache, and we hiked together the rest of the day. I actually met him on Day 1 at the Oak Shores Malt Shop but I didn’t see him again until today. He hiked the trail in 2018 and this year he was hiking with a group of about 12 guys who were all new to thru-hiking. He got his trail name because they were constantly asking him for advice and trail wisdom!

Mountain mahogany

Near the end of the day we crossed the hundred mile marker. I was thrilled!

Three digits? I like it!

Then we rolled into camp at Barrel Spring where some of Sherpa’s group had already arrived. One of them, Ezra, found out I was a polisci professor and shared that he was actually admitted to the PhD program where I used to work at UC Davis but he decided not to go. We had a nice conversation about academia which led to me explaining my trail name, which was fun to recount.

Sherpa pontificates
Ezra (left) and the gang

Here’s my hike-u for the day:

The Paradox of Thru-Hiking
Oh, one hundred miles!
How could such a long distance
Be so very short?

7 Comments Add yours

  1. BarnFinder says:

    Echinocerius engelmannii engelmannii? Eriophyllum confertiflorum confertiflorum? Admit it – you’re just making this stuff up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JimmyJam says:

      You gotmeum gotmeum barnfinderum!

      Like

  2. ZoZoZoom says:

    Congrats on the 100!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JimmyJam says:

      Thanks – yipeeee!!!

      Like

  3. P says:

    Dang, JJ! Don’t scare us like that!

    After several days with no posting and then to learn your trail angle almost make you a road angel… If we’d known, we would have had CHP out looking for your carcass.

    Beautiful pictures, wonderful writing, and fine accomplishments. Praying for a great and safe journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LaurieEssss says:

    Had no how beautiful Chicory flowers are. Love the baby Horned Lizard as well. Lovely visual guide through your hike of wildflowers. Beautiful time of year to be out there🤩

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JimmyJam says:

      I know, right? Sometimes they are hard to see in the harsh sun so it’s fun to look at them close up in the photos.

      Like

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