I was really nervous and anxious the week before I set off on the PCT. I had a vivid nightmare that I was on the PCT behind a hoard of nearly 50 hikers standing in line to get water. Maybe that doesn't sound scary to you, but I was horribly thirsty and the crowd was loud and boisterous. My fears are obvious- scarcity of water and inability to find a wilderness experience.
|Having mixed feelings about getting water from a cache.|
Before I started the PCT, I thought that I would not take water from the caches. I wanted to take enough water from the reliable sources so I wouldn't need the caches at all. I thought it would be simple enough to judge how much water I would drink.
I started with enough water containers to hold 10 liters. Do you know how heavy that much water is?!?!? I've only carried 7 liters so far, and that was really tough. In the southeast, water carries are more like 5 miles, but the first water carry on the PCT is 20 miles! What a difference! I was so glad Pathfinder and I practiced carrying water in Guadalupe on our southwest tour.
Today, we got to the Third Gate water cache, and I still had a longways to go to the next water, it was hot, and I only had a liter and a half. So I took two more liters from the cache, which got me safely to the next water source. But I had have mixed feelings about doing so. Pathfinder and Susan keep teasing with me about how I do tend to be judgmental- judging myself the most harshly. They also remind me that the trail angels that stock the water do it to make the hike safer for everyone, and that they get a lot out of feeling like they are part of our journey. And I am thankful to the trail angels who stock the caches for us. But I am also learning to be a better judge of how much water I need in this heat. I also think that out here on the PCT, maybe I will finally learn to be less judgmental and more accepting- of both myself and others.
Now I am hanging in my hammock at Barrel Springs, mile 101. (note to other hammock hangers- plentiful trees 3.5 miles past here at San Ysirdo Creek are more scenic and further from the road) Someone is softly playing the violin. Ah what a lovely sound mixed with the dripping sound of the spring and the croaking of a frog!