Day 5. Get Low.

3-11-15
Mile 74 to 102. 28 miles.
Woke up at 6:20 again and was out on the trail before 7. Said goodbye to our new friends Twix, Salsa, Olive Oil and Sweetooth, and powered out for a big day on the trail. We wanted to get to La Posta Quemada Ranch tomorrow to get our resupply boxes and because we were feeling good.
We took a nice break at Kentucky Camp, the headquarters of a century old failed gold mining camp. The caretaker came out and chatted with his for awhile and even brought us coffee. Nice guy! Also charged our phones in the building too.

there is a livestock serial killer out here apparently.

Long walks in the grasslands for the good part of the day with the sun shining bright. We came to a road and with no indication what direction to go we went down a small path on the opposite side of the road. It went steeply down a few hundred feet and found an old man under a juniper tree smoking a cigarette with a big red gas can and some tarps. What the hell is going on here I thought. Finally I realized he had a gold pan in his lap. This old dude was panning for gold under a tree in the middle of nowhere. We asked him if he knew if this was the AZT. “The what? This ain’t it.” Okay… So we turned around and he warned us to be careful because there were illegals around. Everyone is terrified of the immigrants here. 

anyone know what this .22 round is for? Just a noisemaker?getting water from a cow pond. We are starting to find less water.

In the afternoon it got pretty cloudy and we got a break from the heat. We were in the zone and cruised down canyons filled with cacti and yucca. Saw what I think was a coachwhip snake but it moved so fast I can’t be sure. 

One of the neatest and frightening things I’ve ever seen happened today. We were eating under a juniper tree in a wash when we both paused mid chew, looked at each other then looked towards the sound of an intense and very loud buzzing approaching is. Then a massive swarm of bees numbering in the thousands flew right over our heads and in a matter of seconds were gone. We both said WTF just happened. I’m assuming a swarm of bees were looking for a new nest following their queen. I’m just glad they weren’t concerned with us! They went just feet over our heads! 

In the evening we descended down into some real desert. Cactus and ocotillo replaced all the oaks and junipers. Tons of cacti! Huge ones! Everywhere! Big prickly pears and fat squat barrel cactus. It’s so beautiful. And the sun dipped below the mountains making it the perfect temperature out. Our spirits are very high right now. This place is amazing. Also found a Sonoran Whipsnake, the first I’ve ever seen! Caught him going into a prickly pear cactus and he bit me a few times but their little teeth do no damage, didn’t even puncture my skin. We took a few pictures then he was on his way. Then I noticed that my hand had a bunch of prickly pear spines in it. I was too excited about the snake to care! 

lovelyfairy dusters



We met another thru hiker near the end of the day named Slugger. He hiked parts of the CDT and parts of the PCT last year. He even met Chimp and Raindance! Amazingly he also found Rocket Llamas somber note about how she thought she was going to die in the snow storm near Mt. Adams in 2013. He found the note in July 2014 and hadn’t heard about her escape to safety so he though he found a dead hikers last words. Super creepy he said. Luckily Rocket Llama is all good and safe. Keep drawing Rocket Llama! I love your comics.
Here is Rocket Llama’s webpage
We are currently camped above twin tanks, a muddy cow pond which is our last water source for 17 miles. Not looking to forward to drinking it. Oh well, can’t be picky with water in a desert! Woody out! 


14 thoughts on “Day 5. Get Low.”

  1. Good luck with your hike. I’m really enjoying your updates. You are describing a world utterly different to the howling gales we are currently enjoying here in the north of Scotland. The nature notes are fascinating and distinguish your posts from any others in my RSS feed. Great stuff!

  2. I may be mistaken, but except for day 1 this trail looks quite easy. I love the desert landscape & flowering succulents. I even love the snakes. Is the trail as a whole considered easy? Are there red ants? Is this a trail for beginner, intermediate or advanced hiker? Lovin’ the blog.

  3. Woody, hi!

    In my experience, growing up in the Vermont Green Mountains, and next to the Appalachian Trail, we kids would use .22 caliber birdshot out back hunting for squirrels.

    Milligan may be right, only because I’ve never seen construction .22 shells, but I believe you’ll find little tiny size 9 lead shot inside that shell.

    Enjoy your hike!

    Liz

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Winchester-Super-X-LR-Birdshot-Ammunition-with-Dry-Storage-Box/1273666.uts

  4. Hey woody! Great meeting y’all and hiking for a bit. I’m currently in tucson resting some blisters that were getting bad and working some plans out with Giggles and hopefully getting her back on the trail. Anyway, if you want to keep up with my experiences, I’m posting all my posts on my website: http://www.freeroamingphotography.com under Roaming Notes

    Hope to run into y’all again soon!

  5. HI there! I found your blog while doing research on AZT. I’m planning to go in the spring. Your blog is making me more excited. What type of water filers were you guys using? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Mary! You’ll have a blast! I still think about my adventure on the AZT almost everyday. It’s a fantastic trail. I was using a sawyer squeeze mini and it worked but it slowed down a lot from the nasty water sources. Lots of the water is full of algae and mud so no matter what kind of treatment it’s going to be a little nasty haha. I’d probably go with the regular sawyer squeeze next time because it has a better water flow, but it’s probably still going to slow down a lot. Bring the back flusher if you need to!

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