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JackandBarb - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

Entry 54 of 210
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Jack and Barb
City: Encinitas
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, May 3rd, 2011
Start: 157
End: 176
Daily Distance: 19
Trip Distance: 175.6

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,688
Journal Visits: 383,798
Guestbook Views: 167,160
Guestbook Entrys: 482

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hope and pray there is water ahead

Magic Spring in Hobbit Land

Today was going to be a tough one. We camped last night at mile 157, at a nice spot right off the trail. A thru-hiker named Sunshine was camped nearby. He was going to take our spot (a fine spot) but saw all the ant mounds and decided against it. Hey, what's a few ants in your pants. Well, the mesh in our tent kept them away - they were probably wondering what the hell was going on.

The most appreciated water is that that is cached by the angels. They cart it in to places where it is most needed. Since it is brought in by angels, we call it *holy water*. As of yet, we have not needed to use the caches but if we did, we would. We try to let those less fortunate use it and reduce the labor and cost from the angels.

Our next useful water resupply was at mile 169.5, some 12 miles up the hill so it was important to get an early start. By starting early we could beat the heat and consume less H2O as we headed up the hill. So, we were up before dawn and on the trail with Sunshine when the Sun shone (HA). There are places to get water here but every one requires you to drop your pack and hike down the side of the mountain to the water source. Then you have to cart the water back up. Some are a mile off the trail. The one we picked is called Apache Spring.

A bit on our water purification. We purify all water unless it comes from a tap. We each have a steri-pen which is a small device that uses batteries and when immmersed in the water emits ultraviolet radiation. The UV doesn't kill the critters but rather disrupts their DNA so that they cannot reproduce.

Boo Boo: *Great! You are telling me that we are drinking a bunch of live critters but it is ok because they can't reporduce?*

TTK: *That's right. The UV is proven to protect you from all bacteria and viruses, including Cryptosporidium.*

It takes 90 seoonds of stirring and the water is fit to drink. (even though it may not look fit to drink). Only drawbacks to the steri-pen are, it uses batteries which wear out and it doesn't work in murky water (you must pour it through your bandana or something to get the chunks out then let it settle for awhile and decant). This is a pain but we have not yet had this problem (until today!)

We also have a backup Sawyer in-line water filter that can be connected to one of our platypus hoser bags. We both carry a 3 liter hoser. It is like the camelbacks of old but lighter and more functional (wide mouth at the top)and has the tube that comes around that you can suck on while you walk.

In addition, we have two one liter gatoraid bottles that contain our Malto energy drink. Currently, we are carrying an additional liter bottle given to us from Heather. On top of that, we have an MSR dromedary bag (the red one) that can carry an additional 4 liters (we have not used it yet). So, fully loaded, we can cart 13 liters of water - but can we imaging carting that much? Each liter of water (about a quart) weighs 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds. 13 liters would weigh what, something like 28 pounds. That would be difficult especially right after a food resupply when you have all that food too.

Today was getting hot and our water was looking problematic. At about mile 162, TTK started bonking - it might have been from dehydration or lack of energy as we went light on dinner last night from the Jose Burger overload. But he was bonking. Boo took the tent. Now, 4 pounds lighter, life was good and TTK regained his strength - but it was up hill for a long way. Some say that this leg is one of the hardest on the entire trail, it was definitely hard on us.

We reached an old worn out trail sign, the gps said mile 168. We were out of water but we knew we were near the spring. TKK thought we were at Apache Spring. It said in the water report that it was down slope on the East side. We made an error and went down a trail on the West side. Turns out that Apache Spring was a bit further up the trail but all was not lost in this foray. We dumped most of the stuff in one pack and headed down this most beautiful trail. It was again like being in Hobbit land with huge growth over our heads (were we delerious? maybe.). And halfmiles track was taking us there. It said *Spring Spt* at 33.70865, 116.62479 About one quarter mile (maybe more) and 503 vertical feet down, we encountered a spring, not in the water report.

Problem with this spring was that it was just a trickle and looked difficult to gather water from. So Boo Boo had an idea and started digging a hole next to the trickle. The Tequila Kid, went hunting for big rocks to build a dam. It was really quite fun, sitting way down there in the shady hobbit land, building a dam like kids at the beach.

The first water we collected was really dirty, like muddy water. The steri-pen could not handle that and pouring it through a bandana wouldn't help much. So we had to wait until the dirt settled in our newly formed dam. By scooping up just the surface water, we were able to capture some pretty clear liquid. Just to make sure, we gave each liter a double dose of UV. We figured we lost 2 and a half hours on that water fiasco. But, you take what the trail throws at you and try to make the best of it. We cannot recommend anyone else go down there for water as the trickle may be gone. See the video of our water escapade here and, if you are near mile 168, Go to Apache Spring - it is about 1/2 mile up the trail and on the *East* side of the ridge!

We were tanked up, with enough water to get us the next 10 miles to Tahquitz (pronounced Tah'Quits)Creek. And up we went. The day was long. We never made it to the Creek but we did find a very nice camp spot about 1.5 miles from the water. There were snow patches there and since we had plenty of fuel, we melted an additional half liter for safety. We had enough to get through the night.

It was our longest and hardest day yet. We were now above 8,000 feet at mile 176. Today we climbed a whopping 5,497 vertical feet (not counting the hobbit land journey, add 503, go on, add it!) and covered 19 miles. But it set us up for the big foray into Fuller Ridge tomorrow.

Next: Boo Boo and the Tequila Kid tackle *The Ridge*

Entry 54 of 210
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Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

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