Sitting on a Water Tank at the End of the Day
(Written in the morning of Day 5.)
Well, the wind was really strong. Two strings on my tent ended up breaking before morning, but the rain stopped sometime during the night so I didn't get wet.
Ken got wet in his tent, not because of the rain, but because he laid on his water bag, and it leaked a litter of water onto his sleeping bag. That is something I am going to be very careful about in the coming nights.
We got started hiking at 7:15. Our equipment was very wet and muddy. We hiked about 5 miles to a water cash, and then another mile where we found a flat area on top of a hill. We stayed there a long time, say over 2 hours. We laid out our stuff to dry.
It was beautiful hiking today. We went over lots of rolling hills and saw huge views of the dessert below. We can see a very long way.
After our break at lunch, we hiked nonstop until 5:00 pm when we got to a large water tank that stores water for fighting fires. The tank is made entirely out of concrete. You can remove a large metal plate on top, and access the water, which is what we did. We laid out and cooked dinner right on top of the tank. We intended to continue hiking after dinner, but according to our trail info, there was no more flat spots to camp for over 4 miles, and we didn't feel like going that far. Besides, we had plenty of water here, and the next water was 10 miles away. So, we climbed down from the tank, and found a place nearby to bed down. No tent tonight.
In all, it was a nice day, much better for me than the first two days. It was very windy and cold in the morning, but by evening the weather was nice. I am now having hardly any cramps -- amazing.
I want to tell you about Paula and our bear story. Our bear story is written up in our journal of our JMT 2004 hike. So far, I have not run across anybody that has had as close an encounter with a bear as we have. So, on the first night, when we met Paula, I noticed she had a bear canister, and I launched into my story about our bear last year. She listened patiently, and then she told us about how she did a lot of river canoe camping in Alaska by herself. She has faced down Grizzly bears! It is amazing that the only person that I shared with can top my story. Pride is a bad thing.
Another thing: we hiked the whole trail today, and didn't see one other person, except "Al", from London. We talked to Al before we started hiking from our camp. The trail is amazingly unused.