Day 23: Casa de Luna to Horse Camp (27.7 miles - 508.1)
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
May 30, 2016 - This morning I wanted to get an early start as soon as possible but knowing this crowd I figured I would be the only one. I was wrong as there were several up at 6am. Again with it being early I figured I would have to walk the 2 miles back to the trail but I was wrong again as I was back on trail by 7am with 2 other hikers driven by the same lady who picked me up yesterday.
Since there was a fire closure there was a 12 mile road walk which almost everyone gets dropped off down the road. We tell the lady to drop us off at the trail but she figures at the end of the road walk. So she drives by our stop so we all did a little hike back to where the trail hits the road then started the road walk.
For a road walk it wasn’t too bad. The first half took me through 2 small towns of Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes. However, both lakes have dried up some time ago. There was plenty of shoulder to walk on so no real fear from cars. Right at the end of Lake Hughes was a convenient-store where I bought a few breakfast items.
The second half of the road walk was just out in the middle of nowhere with nothing around but a few ranches. Towards the end of the road walk I was ready to get off the hot asphalt.
Right at the turn off of the road and into a mile side trail that would take me back to the PCT was a man talking with hikers. So I chatted with him and took a picture with his 3 dogs of Bacon, Donut and Tiggerwiggles.
Once back on the trail I came across a snake that was not moving no matter how many time I poked at it, figured it was died so walked around and kept going. Then I ran into the bugs. They were pretty bad for the next 7 miles. Luckily I had a bug head net to wear, made a big difference.
Finally made my lunch stop 18 miles in and got there with a little over a liter of water left. I drank about half of it but since I was unsure where the water source at the campsite was so I figured to wait to drink the rest. I hung around for 2 hours to rest and waited for the heat to pass. Then around 3pm I went looking for the water. I had directions to it but couldn't find it. I came across a guy who thought he knew where it was but I really didn’t trust him so I decided to chance taking my half liter of water to get me 4 miles down the trail.
With it being as hot and 4 miles out I needed to ration my water intake so I took a sip every 10 minutes and also every 20 minutes I ate a packet of fruit snacks (made with real fruit juice). This seemed to work then a mile out from water I remembered I had some power gel so I took it down and drank the rest of the water. There was what needed to get me to the water.
The water source wasn’t what I thought. I figured it was a water tank standing straight up. I was wrong, turns out the tank was buried in the ground and is filled by rainwater. The nice thing with it being underground was the water was actually cool. I had to scoop the water out with a milk jug. Not the clearest water but I’ve dealt with worse. I filtered it and was good to go. When you are thirsty you will drink just about anything, especially in the desert.
After that long water stop I had a nice enjoyably hike to the campground.
There were several hikers eating dinner when I arrived. I had just enough water to make dinner. I knew the water source at the campground was a little tricky to get to. After they explained how bad of a hike it was I decided to save my water for the hike tomorrow and just eat food from my bag that didn’t require water.
During dinner I watched a nice sunset over the desert floor. From the picnic table you could see the hot desert that awaits.