Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 10: Tule Canyon to Knoll on Table Mountain

We woke to blue skies just as the sun began to poke up behind the ridge. Stuffing food in our pockets, we headed down the trail to replace our depleted stores of water. This is desert country, and the next source of water was five miles away at Tule Spring. Unfortunately, our water bottles ran dry with several miles to go. And we were already hot and thirsty.

Shortly after crossing into Anza Borrego State Park, we met two hikers stopped along the trail. Toni and her father Tim are hiking a long section of the PCT to Tuolumne Meadows this year. After talking for a while, Toni asked if we needed water. They had spent the night at Mike's the night before, and had tanked up with more than enough water to reach Tule Spring. Gratefully, we held out our empty bottles.

Two and a half miles later, we refilled all of our bottles at Tule Spring before continuing down the trail. Anza Borrega is a beautiful desert park, with beavertail, barrel, and prickly pear cactus, manzanita, and beautiful reddish tan rocks covering most of the hills. Canyons, such as Nance Canyon, are usually watered by seasonal creeks or underground springs, and contain a wider variety of plants, flowers, and shady cottonwood trees.

While most of the trail has been relatively smooth, today we encountered a short section of trail covered in boulders from a small rockslide. (See picture.)

Later in the afternoon, we reached the Hiker Oasis, a water cache to break up a long, waterless stretch of desert. We took a few liters of water from the many gallons stored on the shelves there and stopped to talk with other hikers, including Trooper, Funk, and Chef.  Then we hiked on to an early camp on a sandy knoll overlooking the surrounding hills and valley.

1 comment:

  1. You are in our prayers...enjoying your blogs...keep going!