PCT 2007 – Day 61 – Cottonwood Creek – Oak Creek

Day 61 5-25-07 Cowboy Camp 4075′
Cottonwood Creek – Oak Creek
23.2 miles; 558 total miles (12.4); 2633.5 trip miles
80’s; Sunny

I didn’t get up until 6:23 AM. I think everyone was waiting for each other to get up. My thigh, which was hurting at the 30 mile mark last night, still hurts. I think it was over worked. (I realized late in the day I had forgotten that I got a charley horse from the gate latch at Hiker Town)

The day started with more flat desert walking with no shade. After a mile the trail finally started to climb. We followed a barbed wire fence for a long while until it ended and we hit the ravines. The real climbing started here as well. Wounded Knee and I took short break in the little shade we could find before the first climb. UB kept going.

We both passed her before Tylerhorse Canyon since she was walking really slow today. She has blisters between her toes. We dropped our packs in the shade and filled up our water bottles for the 14 mile dry section coming up. I was feeling hungry so I had a snack as well. Since we descended into the canyon, it only makes sense we climb back out. We did but it was more of a traverse along the range we were on until we got to Gamble Canyon. Once there of course we descended to the bottom and then had a 620′ climb in the sun to a shaded area we had lunch at. I cooked a Lipton Wounded Knee gave me and then worked on my journal.

We slept and hung out until 3 PM then started out into the heat. I lost the trail for the first of two times today. When I realized what I did, I backtracked Southbound until I ran into the others and considered myself covered for walking the correct distance. It’s almost impossible to be completely pure on the PCT.

We climbed a while and then finally reached the shade around 6000′ where the trees finally took hold. It was still hot but better. This section is heavily used by motorcycles so there were intersecting trails every 50′ it seemed. Another unpleasant result of the motorcycles was they made whoop-de-dos on the trail. This made walking very unpleasant. The ground was very sand too so walking was already tough.
About 2 miles from the Tiger Tank, a water trough for horses, Wounded Knee and I took the same wrong turn he did last year and lost the official PCT. Since he made this mistake last year, he knew where to go to get back on the trail.

We got water at the trough, met two southbound section hikers and then moved on to camp. Just after starting down, I ran into my second rattlesnake. I waited for the others so they cold see it and when I asked Wounded Knee how we get it to move, he simply put his trekking pole in the snakes face. The snake instantly coiled and started rattling and then backed off the trail.

I also saw three black horses grazing near the windmills we were descending below. Once to camp I cooked dinner and then it was off to bed. The moon is bright so sleeping could be tough, plus we’re next to a road. Time for the ear plugs!

Scatman 2011- Because of the death march yesterday this day was harder from the start.  We all were felling the strain of the 36 miles and 6 hours of sleep.  This was a day where you just survived.  Some days you excel, some days you just hike and others your survive and hope the next day is one of the other too.  Our saving grace was knowing there was a town tomorrow and we’d have a short day.  Well kind of…

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Scatman

Get out there!

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