Day 4 – Never depend on a water cache

I slept in between some bushes and a low hanging tree last night. It was almost like being in a tree house. Camping without a tent or tarp above me allows me to sleep in small spaces. I heard the wind howling throughout the night but never even felt a breeze in my little nook. Not only did I sleep great but I woke up to hot tea again. What a treat. As we hiked around the ridge we were treated with a beautiful sunrise. The rest of the day was pretty but nothing spectacular. Not every day can have postcard worthy views. The trail was all slightly downhill on the side of a hill with soft and well traveled trail. The water cache at mile 7 was empty but we had enough to make it to the next source at mile 15.8. After being let down by the cache, we took a nice shnatz and watched a lot of people pass us. We had already gone almost halfway for the day and it was only 9:30. We took another nice break in a dry creek bed after a steep downhill. It was nice having lunch with KT and Hiccups. We talked about our plans of getting to the next water and then to Julian for our first ressuply. After that we finished the rest of our miles by 2:30. Unfortunately, sometimes the only available water in a stretch is off trail, or a mile downhill in this case. Which meant we had to carry the water back up hill. And by we, I mean Frish. He carried 9 liters (18 pounds) back up the hill for us. Maybe I will ask him to carry more water tomorrow so I can keep up with him. We spent the next 5 hours sitting in the shade talking about what food we want to eat in Julian tomorrow and other hikers things. Hamburgers, pasta, deli sandwiches, waffles and the famous Julian apple pie were all on the menu. The clouds are rolling in and we may have rain tonight and tomorrow. Luckily it’s only 9 miles into scissors crossing where we will hitch into Julian.

A water cache is a place that a stranger leaves anywhere between 1 and 500 gallons of water for hikers. Some, like the one we visited today, are stocked randomly by various people. Others, like the “Third Gate Cache” at mile 91.2 are stocked at the beginning of the season and considered “reliable.” We try not to depend on caches unless they are deemed reliable by hikers before us. These caches really help us limit the amount of water we have to carry. It really is amazing how many people come together to help hikers accomplish their dreams. Yesterday we were fed a free breakfast. Tomorrow we will depend on a stranger to drive us the 12 miles into town. The community here is really special.

Miles: 15.8 Total miles: 68.4

Here’s my sleeping setup for the night. What you see is a water resistant “bivy” with my backpack laid on top. Inside is a sleeping pad, my quilt and a pillow. It wasn’t going to rain this night so I didn’t have to set up my tarp. I’ll show you that some other time.

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