Day 4 Bahr Shrine to canyon near Chariot Road

Anza-borrego desert awaited us on our fourth day of the PCT. Leaving the campground refreshed and clean at 7.45, we hoped to make the most of the cool morning temperatures. Last night had been another cold night, down to around 3 degrees Celsius with a brisk wind. A gear check revealed broken shoelaces on both my shoes, and Nathan’s grand total on insoles now at one hundred dollars, with still no satisfaction. A couple of older hikers arrived as we were leaving, utilizing one of the few available water sources. The first morning miles involved a spectacular climb around the edge of Garnet Mountain, with amazing views towards Cottonwood Canyon and the desert spread below. The trail soon turned and wandered through a boulder outcrop, with great places to take a snooze. Passing a bunch of hikers on a siesta from the sun, we headed off trail to pick up water from a horse trough, the only water for the next 10 miles. This was conveniently utilized by a women on a horse just before we filled up on water. With a cool lunch at the base of the water tank, and a marked increase in the number of mountain bikers, we trudged back onto the PCT carrying up to 6 liters of water each. Shortly after we passed a Boy Scout troop, quickly followed by our first rattle snake encounter. Nathan was up front, and, upon hearing the rattle and spotting the snake nearby, took off at a leisurely jog. Becky and I, quickly realizing that the snake had decided he was in no rush to leave the path, bush bashed up over the side and back onto the trail. The next couple of miles were not as eventful, with views of some small valleys carpeted in meadows and wildflowers. A short sharp descent led to our camp site, nestled in a dry creek bed. Noah had arrived earlier, and took off at dinner to head to the next water source. Temperature readings at 4 pm from the top of the valley were 40 degrees Celsius, and 45 degrees at the bottom. Sceptic of such a reading, Noah confirmed his device said the same thing. Done with hiking in such temperatures with little to no shade and upwards of 40 pounds on our back, we pitched camp to the sounds of California quail and a dinner of Mac and Cheese, mashed potato with salami, and Pad Thai noodles.

Miles hiked – 17
Snakes encountered – 1
Money spent on shoes – $100

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