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Miles 592.9 to 608.9
Hound and I left camp around 8am this morning.... we made plans to check in at the first water source and went on our separate ways - we have both realized we hike better and longer separately. The morning was cool and crisp and really quite pleasant, but started to heat up quickly. Around mile 596, I passed Hound and he mentioned he was running low on water already... we still had until 602 for the next water and the sun was starting to beat down.
I went on ahead and at around mile 598.5, I sat down for a little break and in my view was metal cabin in the woods.... I walked over to check it out and saw the sign on the property said “casa de oso” and noticed a giant water tank in the back... then I remember reading on guthooks about someone that Macgyvered water out of the tank. I ran back a little to let Hound know I had found water... but we would have to figure out how to get it. With his ingenuity and my water bladder and paracord and a trekking pole we made it work. Now I do not know whether this was legal or not... but I justified it as surely the “Oso” family is some long lost Spanish relative... and quite frankly, believe if anyone had been staying at the cabin and we had knocked on the door desperate for water in the heat they would have offered.... and I have to say it was cold and refreshing... and the best water we had in this entire section.
Feeling proud of myself for solving the Hound’s water issue - I pushed on to cross the 600 mile mark! It was in this stretch of trail that I started meeting some new hikers... a lot of new hikers... a large tramily of young, long legged, fast hikers that had caught up to us- Jedi, Summer, Deep Dive, JRod, Packmule, Pilot, and others I can’t recall... it was the most hikers I had seen in an entire day... we all gathered at the water source, but I quickly moved on to try and get a head start to camp, it was the first time on trail I was worried about having room at my goal tentsite for the night. The next water source was across from a BLM campground and everyone had said that was their goal for the day.
About an eighth of a mile from camp the new hikers passed me.... darn their youth, fitness and long legs! As Hound, Rum Runner and I turned into the campground deciding we all could just get water later, I noticed some car in the distance. Car campers! Maybe they will sell us a hotdog and a beer we thought... I was nominated to approach them (being a girl) And to try and yogi for some goods - (yogi as in yogi bear)... turns out I didn’t have to... as soon as I walked up I was greeted with an entire stuffed Cornish hen and veggies- what!?!? They also had cold beer and sparkling sodas to share. And talk about timing, the hoard of hikers had all gone to get water first before camp...good thing for me because they only had five extra hens on them. SCORE!!!
We called the others over with the wilderness cry of “free beer”. The car campers were the most amazing group of men out for a guys trip... former and current PCTA board members. I got the chance to speak with each of them individually for a long time - and loved hearing their stories... from struggles with Parkinson’s to section hiking the whole trail. One showed me his monument plaque from recently getting off the board - which was super cool. It was the most people I have camped with on trail and it felt like a party with old friends.