Day 6 - Rodriguez Cross (mile 68) to campsite in San Felippe Hills
Today was infinitely better than yesterday. My feet didn't miraculously heal (heel!) overnight, BUT they also didn't torture me all day either. Set the alarm for 4am, but of course didn't get up and moving until 5 and out of camp until 6. Either way, I was practically flying this morning, and the combo of happier feet and hiking in the cool shade allowed for an arrival to Scissors Crossing by 10am. Apparently the rule of thumb while desert hiking is hike 10 before 10am, and then wait out the day and hike 10 more before 10pm.
The desert landscape is pretty wild. There's all kinds of cacti and lizards. My favorite lizard so far is this goofy looking guy called a horned lizard - it looks like a mini dinosaur! There's scales all over the back and it looks positively prehistoric.
Scissors Crossing is so named because it is where two freeways cross each other (near Julian, CA). A local trail angel supplies a huge water cache under the freeway bridge from the well on his property, and it's the last water for a long while, so it's a much appreciated stock for hikers. Quite a group gathered under the bridge throughout the day, and it turned into a little hiker party. A few people went into Julian and returned with beer and soda! Drinking a beer under the freeway, completely filthy, we all mused what the difference is between a thru-hiker and a hobo. The only thing we could come up with was about $2,000 worth of gear. It was a great day. Famed thru-hiking guru Yogi even made a surprise appearance! I felt like I'd just met a real celebrity.
Made some new friends including a couple from Salt Lake City and a younger fellow who just graduated Cal early to hike. He didn't have much of a budget, so his gear list is untraditional - he's carrying an army duffel he found at a surplus store as his pack, and wearing a bright Hawaiian print tshirt and Chacos and is awaiting ski poles for hiking with. He already earned the trail name Buzz Lightyear due to his big smile and square jaw, and he was a fun character to spend the day with. We also met a new class of people - a few hiker bros! Who knew backpacking could get bro'd out? Definite surprise.
Took off around 5 to hike straight up into the hills. Found a nice little camping spot at mile 82 to tuck in for the evening. Only 27 more miles to Warner Springs (and new shoes, showers, etc!)