Day 4: Mile 73.9 to 101.2
Ahhhhh today was filled with SO many firsts!! Waking up around 5:30, I hit the trail and skipped to Scissors Crossing at mile 77. I had debated spending these precious, cool morning hours in town. But as I approached the road, thoughts of fresh fruit and coffee flickered in my head... and out went my thumb.
10 minutes later, a San Diego County Sherif pulled over.
"This could either be really good, or really bad," I thought.
Pulling over just in front of me, the sherif rolled down his window and bellowed, "Jump in!"
Not having to tell me twice, I threw my pack in his back seat and jumped in the front. Carlos drove me to Julian, a popular hiker-friendly town just 12 minutes down the trail. Climbing up to 4,000 feet from the desert floor, the scenery changed dramatically with tall, colorful pines.
Carlos dropped me off at Carmen's Cafe, which was closed to everyone except "hiker trash." Knowing my new identity, I climbed up the steps into Carmen's.
You guys. This cafe was flipped into a free hostel for PCT hikers overnight. With free access to the kitchen (coffee and fruit!), this place was my DREAM. And Carmen wasn't even in yet. PCT hikers were just hanging out in this shop.
HOSPITALITY IS SO COOL.
Wanting a liiiiittle more than coffee and grapefruit, I went across the street to Granny's Cafe, ordered an incredible breakfast, and talked to my good friends Taylor and Bobby, as well as my mom. I probably shoulda blogged, but oh well. 😉
After breakfast, I hitched back to trail with an older couple that recently sold their home to travel the West. We talked about the beauty of the west and the simplicity of life on the road. Dropping me back at Scissors Crossing around 10:30am, I headed out into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, fueled by French Toast, life-giving conversations, and multiple cups of Jo.
Early in the hike, I checked the Water Report, and realized that I was heading into a pretty long stretch with little water. Regretting not filling up completely, I rationed my water out as I headed up and around these hills.
The view was innncreddddiblle. Barrel cacti taller than myself, and blooms brighter than any I've seen before.
Around mile 92, my knee started givin me a good bit of grief, so I abandoned my bandana-sun-neck protection and tied it around my knee as a brace. This helped a bit, so I'm thankful for gear pieces with multiple uses.
At mile 93, I filled up on water from a cache straight out of a movie. I mean, look at this.
Crazy. The rest of the day was spent inching closer to Mile 100 and camp at mile 101.2.
Passing the 100 mile marker was incredibly humbling and rewarding. So, so thankful for this journey!