When I woke up, it was light out, and I knew right away that I had over slept my alarm. Still, I was able to break camp at 6:30 am and start my day. Today was another cold day with strong winds and a couple of rain showers that thankfully only lasted a few minutes at a time.
Like previous days, you could not take a break unless you found some serious cover from the wind. Initially prepared for the challenges of dehydration and heat, hypothermia has been the major concern. I trudged through the miles, pulling out my umbrella when it started to rain. I have used my sun umbrella more for rain so far than I have for the sun.
I broke the 100 mile mark today!
About 3 miles from where I planned to stop for the day, I came across a place called Eagle Rock, named because it looks amazingly just like an eagle. I wished I could stop and enjoy the rock, but it was too cold, so I kept on hiking.
I arrived at Warner Springs Community Center at 5 pm. It was pretty good timing since the center closed at 5:30. It is a pretty neat little operation. They have a resupply store, a laundry bucket, and smaller clear buckets for bucket showers. As I was finishing up buying food for the next 4 days, I ran into someone I was not expecting to see - Rene.
I met Rene last summer. She and I both worked at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Rene was backcountry staff, and I worked as a Ranger which is what Philmont calls their backpack guides. We were both transferred up to Northern Tier in Minnesota after the major wildfire that destroyed Philmont’s central country. There, we spent our summer as canoe guides in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. Rene is planning to return to work at Philmont later in this summer after hiking and attending graduate school orientation at Columbia University.
I also met a man named Mark. He is out here hiking for a month. He retired earlier this year and is moving to Arizona when he gets off the trail. Mark has worked as a contractor for the past 10 years, which is the field of work I am planning to study at Texas A&M. We talked about the trail and the crazy weather we have been having. We both felt that even though we were hiking solo, there was a need for community; whether it was just someone to talk to at the end of the day, or a group to hike with. That is something that we both had not experienced as much out here as we were expecting going into it.