PCT SOBO DAY 102 – miles of desert

Bird spring pass – Landers Spring
21.9 miles. 4161ft up. 3202ft down. 

It rained a lot in the night and it was pretty windy, from the couple of times I woke up that’s what I could tell. The tent is just about holding up, and I was worried about it raining because the fly touches the net in some places but it all seemed to work out ok. I was warm, cosy and dry. 

We wake up at 6 and pack up while it’s still dark, it’s even darker than usual because it’s so cloudy. Catwater was awake for most of the night because of the wind. I keep telling her to pop an Aleve PM, they work wonders! I took about a litre and a half from the cache so I had two litres for the day. Our aim was to get to the next spring 22 miles away. 
It was pretty chilly to start with and still a bit drizzly. But nice hiking weather. I saw a couple of rabbits. Rabbits and lizards, that’s all that seems to be out here at the moment. But there are a lot of poos on the trail, some look really old, they have done that thing where they go white, but some look really fresh. Cat and Coyote poos maybe?

The morning passed without much to report, the clouds and Joshua trees kept me visually stimulated, and I saw a few more rabbits, but these ones were big and more upright. Maybe they were Jack rabbits? The take off really fast! 

I got a smidge of cell service and saw on the SOBO Facebook page that Golden oaks spring is flowing which cuts down the 36 mile waterless stretch. Sometime you can find some useful stuff on Facebook when you sift through all the crap. This years SOBO hikers have been really helpful actually. 

The trail continued on and looked much the same for most of the day, the weather brightened up a little but the temperatures remained nice. We had a quick break as we prepared ourselves for the 2000ft climb. The terrain began to change as we got higher, the shrubs and Joshua trees gave way to pine trees and grasses and that brought the bugs back. It was a bit of a slog so I shoved my head net on, gobbled down a cliff bar and listened to some podcasts to get me up the hill. 

These are some podcasts that I have been listening to and I like:

My dad wrote a porno – my favourite!
No such thing as a fish
Friday night comedy from BBC radio 4
Ted radio hour
How I built this
Accused – on reflection, this is crap, don’t listen to it. 
The Adam Buxton podcast

As my headphones are broken I have to play it out loud so I make sure I’m far enough ahead of Catwater so it’s not annoying. Very near the top of the climb on a dirt road I wait for Catwater to catch up. I see a car towing a trailer full of logs go past. They are the only people I see today. I wait for about half an hour and I start to get cold. When she arrives I hike really fast and do the next two miles in half an hour trying to warm up. I see a few more jack rabbits and I’m sure I see some cat prints on the trail. 

The spring is 0.3 off the trail so we walk down and find it. It’s only 5:15 but we decide to camp at the campground opposite to save having to haul extra water. The campground is not a wonderful campground and there are lots of burn piles around, along with some half eaten watermelon, chicken bones and lots and lots of toilet paper. 

We both say we wouldn’t have camped here if we were on our own as it’s a bit creepy, but for now it will do. I have my dinner of oriental noodles and chicken breast, which sounds a lot fancier than ramen and chicken in a bag, but it was tasty and filling. And I fixed my Jetboil! I fiddled with the igniter (as instructed on an email from their customer services), and it now lights. So that one less broke thing.

It’s a bit on the chilly side tonight but I can’t complain as I can at least still feel my face. 


I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps. 


3 thoughts on “PCT SOBO DAY 102 – miles of desert

  1. So, here are a few VERY good podcasts that you should consider subscribing to…

    RadioLab… One of my absolute favorites. Has been around for a long long time before the current podcasting craze. If you have never listened, just pick out any one, but I would go back to the very 1st ones. I really like them.

    This American Life… Has been around long before Podcasts became popular, and some of the best story telling ANYWHERE. It is spinoff ground for new podcasters..

    Serial… The number one downloaded podcast ever. Birthed out of This American Life.

    Planet Money… Excellent and interesting financial related podcasts. Started around the 2008 financial crisis by a couple NPR guys trying to make sense of what happened. Again does work in conjunction with This American Life, and episodes like a “Giant Pole of Money” are must listening if you don’t really understand what happened in 2008..

    Startup… by Gimlet Media. Again, comes out of the This American Life and Planet Money incubator.
    The personal story of starting a podcasting business. You would want to start with episode one.

    Reply All…. by Gimlet Media but started on WNYC as TLDR podcast. Fun pop culture/internet related story telling. These guys are good.

    Criminal… Excellent stories on all facets of the justice system.

    Back Story…. Just what it sounds like, the back story of current stories in the news)

    FreshAir… (great interviews by Terry Gross. She covers the spectrum of pop culture, music and political events)

    Heavyweight… (new Gimlet podcast from a long time Canadian podcaster)

    Invisiblia… Birthed from the NPR incubator

    More Perfect… (stories about the US Supreme court done by the guys at RadioLab)

    Reveal… Stories from the Center for Investigative Reporters. (good ‘dig into it’ articles)

    The West Wing… (if you ever watched the entire West Wing TV Series, you should, this is a must. They are doing one podcast per episode.)

    The Moth….. Personal unrehearsed stories told in front of a live audience. Some real gems here.

    Wait Wait, don’t tell me…. (fun NPR current event game show)

    Tell Me Something I don’t know…. (have just started listening to this. Done by the guys at Freakonomics)

    Freakonomics… (see above)

    Undone… Another Gimlet Media podcasts about Big News stories we thought were done, but were really the beginning of something else.

    and I have others, but try these out for size.

    That should round out your NZ trip podcasts listening! 🙂


    PS… Your ‘Ted Radio Hour’ and ‘How i built this’ is good, and it comes out of the NPR stable of podcasts.

    Just go to NPR.org, and look at the line up of other podcasts. 🙂


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