Big day today. Woke up alongside the trail at 0445. Headlamps already heading up the trail. Got underway at about 0530. Nice cool sunrise, then hot, hot, hot!!! So tired of looking at the same valley. It's best to start looking through a microscope at the desert life instead of on the macro level at the HOT HOT chaparal landscape, endless. Made it to the turnoff for the Gate 3 watercache, a huge undertaking that some crazy wonderful trail angel, or network of angels maintains. Without it it is something like 23 miles of no water to the next source, and that's if you hitch to Julian. I hadn't planned on taking water from water caches, so I had more than enough. Nevertheless, we hiked the 1/2 mile roundtrip, and I drank a half liter of water at the cache, and took no more. I think Grant may have taken a liter. It was only 10am, so we pushed on. Did I mention it was Hot? It really started getting hot at 1030, but we wanted to hike until noon before stopping. We passed up some juicy shade at 1115, and from then on, it was nothing. We finally made it to a campsite, hoping there would be shade, and there was barely. We each climbed into our own scratchy bush to hide, but it was dappled shade at best. I got out my emergency blanket and tied that off to the brush for more shade. That worked well, but then I panicked that people would think we were having an emergency, so I took it all back down. Stupid. That was nice shade I had made. So then we set up the rainfly of the tent. That was shady, but the ground had baked so hot that it was miserable sitting under it. Grant lay down in there anyway. After about 3 hours of tossing and turning in our fake shade, we hit the trail again. It was better as a cloud passed over the sun briefly. A guy we met got the trail name "Cloud Rider" because as he was looking at that cloud he decided to start hiking, and somebody said "you gonna ride that cloud out of here?" Pretty funny. Made it to our destination Barrel Spring where several people, maybe 10-15? were camping. We camped too. The water was a trickle out of a pipe into a horse trough. Great for us, but hikers in a few weeks will be getting their water from what's leftover in the trough. I am so happy we started a few weeks earlier than normal. "laundry" eat, sleep. I didn't even take a swig of whiskey I was so tired. SLEEPY SLEEPY. Oh, I forgot the exciting news. We made it to Mile 100 today!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!
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