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Mile 71.2 Laguna Mountains — 77.3 Scissors Crossing/Julian (6 miles)
Rose: fun times in towns with new friends Bud: soon to Mile 100! Thorn: realizing I packed & bought 3x too much food, especially with long water carries and the climb up into the hills again
I woke up early again. I was packed and ready by 6:30, but the group wasn’t ready until 7:30. It wasn’t too much of an inconvenience, because I took the opportunity to stretch. Then when we started moving, the set pace was breakneck speed. Speedier than I liked, so my calves were straining to keep up as we forged up rocky inclines and fell down slippery descents. We only needed to descend a few hundred feet to the valley floor and then it was straight and exposed to the highway.
Usually we hike alone or in pairs, but this morning we hiked as a group. The slower in the group (myself included) spurred on by the thought of town (and shade).
Scissors Crossing is an iconic location on the PCT: the underpass with all the water caches and exhausted hikers taking refuge in the shade. I thought it was farther up trail than 77 miles.
At Scissors Crossing we split into three groups of two to hitchhike into Julian. Angel and I were paired up. The other two pairs got hitched quickly. We only waited about 15–20 minutes before a dialysis taxi driver picked us up. We talked about the trail and the local scenery.
The town of Julian is very cute. It’s known for its Apple orchards, cideries, and pies. It’s obviously the quaint, country get away for San Diego county and likely hosts a lot of summer weddings.
Mom’s Pies gives every PCT hiker a slice of pie when you show your permit. Our whole group got our slices of apple pie (and variations thereof) before splintering off to do other chores. Mitch went to secure two rooms at the Julian Lodge (overpriced) for all of us. Me and several others beelined it for the gear store (tiny but dense in its selection). Others went straight to showers (I care more that my hands are finally clean than my legs), the grocery market (expensive), or the brewery (tasty). I made rounds at each in turn.
One fatal mistake was made: I thought our next resupply was 60 miles out (4.5 days); it’s actually 23 miles (1.5 days)! As a consequence, I will carrying 3 extra days of food tomorrow and six liters of water (because the next water source is 14 miles out and it’s a cache so a little unreliable). And the normal heat is supposed to return tomorrow. Yikes. I’ll be going slow.
I attempted to find the leak in my air mattress by submerging it in the hotel tub, but it’s such a slow leak that my searching did not find any leak except maybe the valve. The gear store also didn’t have any foam pads. I’ll brave it out until I get to the next gear store in Indywild about a week from now. I plan to zero in Indywild, which will be the last stop before our climb up to Mt San Jacinto.
For dinner, we all walked down to the Julian Brewery. Semi and Jose left with a trail Angel to do all of our laundry at her house. We all looked ridiculous at dinner because we had been lounging in the only clothes that didn’t go to be washed: our rain/wind gear and puffies. When they returned, we were drinking beers in one of our hotel rooms. We all seemed a little relieved that we could stop our stilted conversations (the tvs were broken) and instead crawl into clean clothes and cushy beds. Tomorrow half of us will get picked up at seven to be delivered to the trailhead by another trail angel.
In the last photo, our tramily from left to right: Mitch, Lucy, Angel, Semi, José, me, and Rebekah