Day 4 April 28
Scissors Crossing to Barrel Spring
The desert is manic. I’ve walked through rain sleet snow high winds and now relentless heat. Where’d the wind go?
I leave Scissors Crossing around 10 am with Loren, a former Deadhead. We wind up the mountain like our lives depend on it. I don’t stop until I reach 3rd gate cache, 13 miles from Scissors.
I walk up to ten hikers packed like sardines in the little shade available. Suddenly I feel vulnerable like I’ve walked on stage and forgotten my lines. A young 20-something named Sherriff and a fit middle aged guy named Dust say they’ve been trying to catch me since kick-off.
I am the mutherfuckin rabbit. Catch me and let’s do big miles to the border, this trail ain’t gonna hike itself!
It’s a windless hot day and negative thoughts creep up. I subdue them by sipping on my water constantly and imagining that I am in a foot race in the Sahara.
My calves are so sunburned I tie a bandana around one and my thermal shirt around the other. “Like my outfit?” I say in a Bobcat Goldthwait voice. How did I let this sunburn get so bad, I’m supposed to be the savvy vet.
I hike the last few miles with Sheriff and Dust. Sheriff is wise beyond his years, a gentle young man. Dust is a handsome Iraq vet with a BIG Montana personality. They’ve been a pair since the border and push each other to do big days. I already like them.
Another 100 in the bag. For others, it’s their first 100 miles. I feed off their elation.
At Barrel Spring, we watch for shooting stars while the bullfrog choir sings us to sleep.