Today’s Milage: 13.7mi (22km)
Bush Camp: 12.1mi) to Boulder Oak: (25.8mi)
Remaining Miles to Canada: 2624.2mi (4,223.24km)
It was a cool morning as we made our way down to Hauser Creek where we had a quick breakfast stop of muesli. We noticed that there was enough room for at least 20 tents down by the creek yet on the map it mentioned only enough for three which gave reason to the rush hour we experienced towards the end of yesterdays hike.
Tim then rocked up for the first time, a really nice guy. We enjoyed chatting to him, however our rest stop had come to an end and we had to move on. I remember feeling like I could easily stay for a longer chat but we simply had to keep moving.
We saw a 3L green water bottle full of water sitting in the dry creek. Later, at Boulder Oak we would find out that a trail Angel placed bottles of water there which he transports by quad bike. People really seem to go out of their way here which is quite foreign to us.
Leaving Hauser Creek I chose to retire my poles for my umbrella. It was a long up-hill slog ahead of us. The sun was beating down and shortly into the climb Kenyon agreed that the umbrella was a good idea so he did the same. We both noticed how the temperature dropped whilst underneath the shade of our Chrome Domes.
Towards Lake Morena we noticed a whole pile of clothes hanging in a tree to the left of the trail and there was a catapult (sling shot) there too but no one around which was kind of odd. Later on in the day Tim would tell us how this really freaked him out.
Around noon we thought we were doing it tough until we came across a group of 3 fire fighters who were hiking the trail fully clad in their fire gear. They were training for the up coming season.
We dumped our gear under the shade of a tree and went in search of the trail register. We weren’t quite sure what the trail register was for. In our excitement we forgot to sign the register at the very start of our hike and felt that perhaps our thru-hike might not be counted but Kenyon soon found out that the register is mainly used so that friends can see if you have passed through an area ahead of them.
We drank lots of water and just carried 2L which would last us until Boulder Oak Camp Ground. As we were departing the campground we saw Gina and Bison setting up their tents near the trail. We were slightly envious of their early settlement but we forged ahead to the rattlesnake that lay in wait.
After hiking out of Lake Morena in the blistering heat I came very close to stepping on the said rattle snake. It was a small snake but it reared up and rattled loudly. It quickly slithered under a bush – too fast for me to get a photo of it. There was absolutely no warning. I was right on top of it when I heard the sudden rattle. It made me feel quite disoriented but once I had it in my sights I was grounded. This moment remains etched in our minds. It’s one we’ll never forget.
As we rounded a corner we saw a guy called Tony sitting on a rock in the sun. He was exhausted. He said he wasn’t going to make it. He was carrying 6 L of water. We didn’t think he was reading the water report so we mentioned that there was fresh water at Boulder Oak.
On our way to Boulder Oak I took note of Kenyon’s remaining water levels. I mentioned he could be drinking more. Kenyon then reviewed my water situation and noticed that there was a bottle missing! In the haste to get more miles in before sunset I had packed my 4th bottle inside my pack. We were still getting into the routine of returning things to their right place every time.
The trail then passed through some lush knee-high grasses which waved in the wind. We then came across Tony’s tent pitched on the left of the trail. About a mile later we reached Boulder Oak.
Tim had set up camp already and we chatted to him for a short while. He was very concerned about Tony’s exhaustion since he had earlier found Tony lying flat on his back in a meadow with his tent poles scattered all over his chest – busy gathering the energy to set up his tent. We then mentioned how Tony had managed to set up his tent.
Melanie (from New York) was busy hand-writing her blog. She would then take photos of her hand written pages and would then email them to a friend of hers who then type out the days events. Melanie’s photos were then uploaded to the cloud and another friend of hers added them to the post which had been typed up. This is the only way to post while on trail.
We cooked dinner at the table nearby and Tim came over to chat. Kenyon and I were happy with how the day had unfolded. We were in good company but unaware that this would be one of the last times we would be spending time with the people we had set off with.
A guy called Fi then hiked into the campground obviously incredibly proud of his efforts to have reached Boulder Oak Campground on his first day on trail. “Did I tell you that I left Campo today?” He kept repeating. We found this quite amusing. We almost reminded him of Heather Anish Anderson who holds the current speed record for completing the trail in 60 days (unsupported). She averaged a distance of about 44.16 miles per day.