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[pct-l] My best experience on the PCT

After reading some of the posts of the previous week, here's some LIGHT
reading for a change.  This is an exerpt of my writings from my '96=

On May 14 I resupply in Warner Springs and eat a delicous breakfast at the
golf club grill.  My next challenge, the Anza-Borrego desert, awaits me!
This place, the Anza-Borrego desert, has it in for me.  In 1995 I suffered a
bad tick bite.  The trail through this chapparal country punished me last
year until I finally dropped into a campground in Anza.  My wish this year
is to avoid such a detour.  This desert is beautiful, however!  The terrain
is rugged and the views are wide.  I leave Warner Springs carrying 6 quarts
of water, not wanting to stop to filter water at Agua Caliente Creek, just
3.5 miles north of the highway.  I push past the creek, which is shaded by
stream-side trees, and hike into the exposed hillside above Lost Valley.  I
even struggle to find shade under a small tree to rest.  Eventually the sun
moves in front of me, robbing the shade I looked so hard to find.

May 14:  =85the desert was like a furnace!  I contemplated water supplies,=
decided to try Lost Valley Spring, which flowed last year at this time.
This year, the only water I find was in a small trough filled with dirty,
silty water.

I force the water through my Katadin Minifilter, which gets progressively
more clogged.  I stop to clean the filter element every half quart or so.  I
am filtering the third quart and a sudden "pop!" accompanies the sight of
pieces of plastic flying around me.  The water filter had exploded,
rendering it useless.  After gathering my wits, I use iodine to treat this
semi-clear water.  I=92m off into the land of certain calamity, once again!
The trail punishes me as I carry 6 quarts of "agua" for 4.5 grueling miles
to my camp.  Although I had hiked only 14.3 miles, I feel good about this
situation.  I am camped under a nice Coulter pine on a ridge dotted with
boulders.  The evening is peaceful as I cook my dinner.   I realize this day
was extemely demanding on my mind and body.  Blowing out the filter earlier
today had shaken me up.  I=92m not in the kind of physical shape I would=
to be.  But I=92m averaging 21 miles per day, compared to 15 or 16 miles=
year at this point.  This is my sixth day.  And despite the setbacks, I am
feeling good about my progress.  I recall some of my images of the desert:

May 14:  Colorful, nice sounding birds that I=92ve never seen before;
beautiful sunsets and sunrises;  cool evenings after scorching days;
Hearing the wind blow through the trees and desert shrubs;  listening to
coyotes at night, occasionally.

I learn that the bad days have something positive to find in them.  I
believe that it was a good thing to struggle today, for I chose to rest at
this ridgeside camp and contemplate my journey so far. =20

Roger Carpenter

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