Day 5 | mile 63.6 - 80.6

Woke up at 6. Coffee and pop tarts. We were rolling by 7. Sriracha left at 6:30, and Paddles stayed behind. I took my poles back.

As we climbed out of the valley we could see storm clouds where we came from and sunshine where we were going. Good sign.

We got reception on the ridge. Selby called her dad, I called mom. We chatted for a while. Then Selby called her mom. Sally was picking out the wedding cake for the royal wedding party she is having later this month.

It was very cold and windy. We were both comfortable hiking in wind jackets, puffies, and gloves. Once we got to the first junction (3 miles in) and went to check out the water situation, Sriracha jumped out of the bushes and scared Selby.

With each step it looked more and more like real desert. We were descending to the desert floor most of today. The cactus flowers were incredible. There’s such variety! I kept stopping to take pictures of them.

We stopped for "lunch" at 9:30. I opened up my salmon package. Was going to eat them on top of ritz crackers, but Sriracha offered up a tortilla and a hot sauce packet, so I tried out a hiker trash wrap. It was not bad, but it was not good.

We were on the desert floor and walking through a true desert - the final 3 mile push to Scissors Crossing. It was very cold and the wind was just whipping through the flats. No snakes or any sign of wildlife. Probably too cold for them? Do snakes live in holes?

Finally, we approached Scissors Crossing. The funny thing about places that you’ve read descriptions of and seen pictures of, is that they’re never like what you imagine them to be. My Scissors Crossing had a rooster in it.

It was about 1, and we were very cold and very hungry. All three of us were hitchhiking virgins and there was even some contention about which direction the thumb should point. We got a hitch anyway from a sweet Mexican man who has been here for 25 years.

Drive to Julian is no joke. It’s up in the mountains, we climbed at least 2,000 ft (in the car, of course). We saw a vulture!

Came into Mom’s Pies to find a huge group of hikers. Nobody we recognized. They must’ve started before us. We weren’t ready for pie yet, so we dropped off our stuff and headed for pizza!

Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs and we couldn’t finish a large pizza. Picked up oatmeal, more Oreos and hot chocolate at the store. 

Back at mom’s pies, guess who was there! Paddles had made it. He got up to give us a hug and it was obvious he couldn’t continue hiking. At least not today.

I was really frazzled trying to hear Paddles’ story, ordering stuff on amazon for Sriracha, figuring out the plan for the rest of today. A man who introduced himself as Ghost offered to give us a ride back to the trail. This girl, Anna, was coming with. Paddles is staying in Julian for a zero.

Back to the cold, windy trail at 4. We passed a few campsites that were taken. Finally took one about 3 miles in. There’s a lot of spikey things in the desert. Shocker, I know. It was hard to set up the tent between cacti and spikey bushes.

Selby made us eat even though we weren’t hungry. (She’s a self-proclaimed food pusher.)

Now it’s drizzling and we are in bed. Finally warm.

Where’s the hot desert???


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