Day 8: 100 Miles!

Date: April 17, 2017
Miles: 86.6 – 101.1

“This is the dirtiest trail I’ve ever been on.” ~ Salty Dog

I had a really vivid dream last night that I was wandering around a big-city downtown office building wearing coveralls with my trail name sewed on them, insisting that I worked at the business there, because why else would I have coveralls with my name on them??  I was escorted out by security and then I woke up. I hear that lots of people have intense dreams out here.  I haven’t given it much thought, but I’m curious to know if there’s a reason.

My day was less random than my dream, and slightly more eventful. We hiked five miles to what is called the Third Gate Cache – another giant pile of water jugs that generous people leave in the desert so hikers don’t have to carry painfully heavy amounts of water through long stretches of dry desert – and got our fill for the day. Then it was time for MORE ridge walking.  We decided that the PCT could take, say, a 5 mile hike from point A straight to point B and turn it into a 26 mile jaunt up and around every fold in every nearby mountain, just for fun.

Coming out of one of those folds and rounding a corner for what felt like the hundredth time, I lifted my foot a little higher to step over a stick when I realized that the stick had a rattle attached to it and I was actually about to step on my first rattlesnake.  I jumped three feet in the air and yelled, ‘Jesus!’, the snake coiled up, rattled furiously and yelled something in Snake and then we stared at each other until it finally decided to slowly slither under a nearby rock. I sprinted past the rock and was then on high alert for all sticks for the rest of the day.

It was a lot bigger in person, I swear.

Around lunchtime we had siesta outside of Billy Goat’s Cave, which is a smallish hole in a big rock that must have been carved out by someone named Billy Goat because there are certainly no such goats out here. Unless that is the desert’s version of Sasquatch. The Desert Yeti.  We haven’t seen one of those either.

After that, we hit the 100 mile mark!

I’m kinda starting to feel like a thru hiker now.

And then it was just a little over a mile to a campsite at Barrel Springs. Just before reaching it, I saw a copy of the easement for Barrel Springs attached to a tree, which instigated all kinds of real estate lawyer nerdery in my brain so I had to take a picture of it. My fellow nerds will appreciate it.

Barrel Springs was a spacious campsite with water running from a pipe into a big trough. I took the opportunity to wash off some of the dirt that was caked to my legs and enjoyed a conversation with Salty Dog, a carpenter from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  He’s a veteran thru-hiker, having completed the AT, and he imparted some trail wisdom on us noobs.  Trail wisdom is always appreciated.

I randomly remember to get Pusheen in a pic. Sorry Olivia!

Tomorrow we have a short walk into Warner Springs, where we’ll take a day off to pick up resupply boxes, take showers and do laundry!  It couldn’t come at a better time because I can barely tolerate the smell of my own shirt, and my socks can stand up by themselves.  Good times.

9 Replies to “Day 8: 100 Miles!”

  1. Hi Jen, I am a friend of your mom’s & Marcia & Rob. We were all together last spring when your dear mom showed us around “her New Orleans” & we all shared time with Eric & Courtney. Marcia sent me your website & I am delighted to follow your adventures on the PCT-it looks fascinating, as well as exhausting. I have a friend leaving for Spain on Tuesday to hike the Camino Real so am sharing your website with her. It will be so interesting to follow the two of you as you hike such different trails. I wish you the best as you pursue this exciting adventure & will certainly keep up with your travels. Good Luck, Ann Smits

  2. Jennifer, we are enjoying your posts so much. Thank you! We’re in the desert of SE Arizona birding. Keep hearing this is a big year for rattlers, but so far (and I hope it remains this way!) we haven’t seen any. And we hope the same to you for the rest of your trip.

  3. Wow Jenny! Looks like you got some ole time religion there for a minute! So glad the stand off went well! Love the pics, what an amazing adventure you are having! Safe journeys my friend.

  4. Way to go! Congrats on reaching tiple digits! Keep it up, enjoy your down time, we’re all rooting for you!

  5. Nice work! Your writing is great and I cant wait to get out to experience some of these intense dreams you speak of.

  6. My make believe pack contains a box of laundry soap. Totally realistic. Wishing you clean water and safe travels.

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