Our first sizeable waterless stretch was today. Only 13 miles, but our longest yet on this trip. For me its no big deal, in fact its kind of fun to see how far I can carry water for. On the Hayduke Trail, d=rt and I went 20 miles regularly without water. Longest stretch for me has been around 40 miles.
Lauren is adapting to the dryness too. She was nervous about having to conserve water when we started this hike. We make a point to talk about where the next water is, and estimate how long it will take to get there. We are making it work.
We have a much larger waterless stretch coming up. 33 miles along the Hat Creek Rim. When I was first made aware of this long stretch, I was in Sierra City. I overheard someone talking about a water cache that helps make the section shorter. I couldnt help myself from telling them my concerns with water caches. If people depend on these caches, eventually someone will get there and find no water. This happened to a friend of mine on the PCT in 2006. It is also littering, leaving jugs of water on the trail in the middle of nowhere, not cool. I could rant more, but why? My point is that Lauren and I will carry 33 miles of water and will love the fact that we are self reliant enough to get through without support.
We did get some support today that I would never turn down. The support came in the form of pizza, soda, gatorade, pringles, candy, and water at a trailhead. A thru-hikers husband named Steve was performing trail magic. He gave us all kinds of goodies. The food just kept coming. Super nice guy. This is much different than a water cache though. We were not expecting Steve to treat us, and though we could have survived without the goodies, it was much appreciated!
The miles seemed to fly by today and we did over 27 miles total. It felt good too. Though our feet are tired, it was one of the best 25 mile days yet.
We leap frogged with Itchy, Double Sprainbow, Hamburger, and Easy Miles all day. Starting to feel as if we have a group we belong with. One thing I will never get over is how many different types of people there are out here, and how we mostly all get along. Tonight we are camped with a 59 year old lawyer from Portland and a 60-something year old man from Germany. Both of them are people I would likely never talk to in my other life. But out here we are sharing a common goal, and go through the same struggles and joys everyday. Thru-hiking is truly magical!