PCT Day 5

Miles: 56.2 - 77.3

Photo: The trail into Julian


This day was unbelievable! Just wow! After what happened today, I’m now a firm believer in the phrase “the trail provides”.


I started with one single goal in mind, get to Scissors Crossing, hitchhike into Julian to avoid the rain tomorrow, and figure things out from there. It’s what drove me the entire way through the last 20 miles and it certainly delivered.


The hike today had a lot of downhill scrambling, loosely packed dirt over cliffs, and tons of rocks to slip and trip on. My feet are absolutely dead now, and I’m not sure what my legs are gonna feel like tomorrow. Despite that, there were amazing views of the desert, a fair amount of wind, and lots of hikers to keep pace and catch up with. Those are what make the sucky parts not as bad.


Midway through the day, I lost my little tripod! Thankfully, another hiker found it and eventually met up with me at a water source and handed it to me personally. Before I left, I told him I’d think of an appropriate trail name during my next section and give the suggestion next time we meet. Several hours later…and he is now known as “Courier”.


The biggest surprise is what happened once two other hikers (Tex and Spliff) and I got to Scissors Crossing. Basically the minute we arrived there was a trail angel willing to give us a hitch 16 miles into Julian. I ran so fast that I literally tripped from excitement. Town means food, a warm bed, a place to shower, do laundry, resupply, and recoup.


However, since all the hotels were booked, it wasn’t possible to get a room anywhere. Once we heard the news, we were planning to just camp in town. On the drive-in, our trail angel knew of our situation and GRACIOUSLY offered to let us camp at their place, as well as shower, do laundry, and charge up our electronics. I was in shock at how lucky we got. I got to shower for the first time in 5 days, clean my dirt-ridden hiker uniform, AND we were able to get some pizzas from town. As Tex put it “this is as good as it gets”.


I was and still am so amazed by the generosity of people who live near the trail. They are a large part of what makes it all worthwhile.


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