Day 4 – Day 6: Bees, Pee Rags, and Cowboy Camping
Day 4 – San Francisquito Valley Rd to Tent site (mi 478.2 – mi 489.9)
Finally got back on the trail with Cubby (aka Beast Cub) at 6PM. We hiked 11 miles and the elevation was NOT my friend. The last 5 miles I was struggling. When 9PM rolled around the sun was completely set and we had to walk with our headlamps. Of course my headlamp died within 2 miles of wearing it. So Beast Cub, who doesn’t understand slow to save her life, had to stop a lot and turn around to light my path. It was not fun for either of us. We finally reached camp at 12AM! It took me SIX HOURS! Beast Cub was getting a little antsy because she could have done that hike in 4! She’s crazy fast and I’m crazy slow. The elevation went from 3,388 to 4,520. Fuck elevation!
4 miles into Night Hiking
Day 5 – Tent site to Tent site (mi 489.9 – mi 503.0)
13 miles mostly up, because why would we go down or stay flat?! The mountains are assholes and so is the desert heat. Guthooks is the app we are using to plan our hikes day to day. It’s so useful because it works without service and can tell you your exact location! When it comes to elevation though, Guthooks only tells us the elevation of certain points. We started at was 4,520 ft and ended at 5,514 ft. But it’s not like we went straight up 1,000 ft. We went up then down then up, up, up, then down, then back up a little higher, and repeat 15 more times! Welcome to hiking I guess. This hike took me 11 hours with plenty of breaks and a shit ton of water. We had to fill up water twice at these nasty looking tanks. The first water source Beast Cub saw had a decomposing BEAR in it! I wanted to see it but I passed it without knowing. That’s what happens when you’re dead and just focusing on trying to lift your legs. The water source without the bear tasted like manure even after being filtered. Not much of an improvement, but kept us going. The bugs were out and about this whole hike as well. Little gnats all up in your eyes when you’re working your ass off to climb a fucking mountain.
10 miles in, taking a rest after going uphill
I pulled out my bug net which definitely helped, but wiping my sweat and blowing my nose (because yes I’m still a little sick) got a little more difficult. It’s not just gnats though, it’s mosquitos, horse flies, and BEES! So many bees! They stick their stinger right towards your face and just keep backing that ass up. You move, they keep coming. They FIND YOU! Swatting doesn’t work, so don’t bother. We never got stung, but one hiker got stung in his face, pulled out the stinger and kept trekking! It’s life or death out here for these bees.
Wee Vill Market
Day 6 – Tent site to Hiker Town and Highway 138 (mi 503.0 – mi 517.6)
Oh my fucking God. NO! First of all, the bugs are still out and annoying as hell and second, Guthooks teased us on elevation all day today. We thought we were going downhill most of the hike today. HA. NOPE. Not at all. Beast Cub wanted to originally do 34 miles today! WHAT? She thought it would be mostly downhill, but it was not! Beast Cub has lost planning privileges. The very few miles we actually were going downhill it was super steep. Hard on my knees, quads, and hips. Elevation from point to point was 5,514 ft to 3,053 ft. Which is supposed to be 2,461 ft DOWNHILL! We may have ended at 3,053 but the 14 miles before that was all up to go down to go back up again. Just when you think you’ve gone up enough and you’re home free, you fucking go back up AGAIN. I was only 2 miles from Hiker Town and my elevation was 5,357 ft. It went down to 3,240 ft 7 miles into the hike just to go right back up in the fucking heat. EW!
2 miles from Wee Vill
Eventually I put up my handy dandy $45 Mount-Bell umbrella. It makes you 15 degrees cooler but when it’s windy, that bitches edges collapse and you have to re-open it. It’s too hot to not have it out, but too windy to keep opening it. Pain in my ass. Took me 9 hours with very little breaks. Before we reached Hiker Town at Highway 138, we read on Guthooks that we should skip it and go to Wee Vill because Hiker Town is rundown and creepy. I had cell service in these hell horns we call mountains, the literal ONLY upside! I called my mom for help and to see what we should do. I was over the bullshit by mile 8! Pissed at the mountains, over hiking ALONE, and fucking exhausted. Did the bugs care, no, did the mountains care, of course not, did my mom, sister, dad, and Geezy care, hell yeah they did! Their support got me through those last very difficult 6 miles. Where was Beast Cub? Chillin’ at the trailhead on highway 138. My mom not only helped me keep going but she figured out how we could get to Wee Vill! She stumbled upon this link with extremely useful info:
When I got to the trailhead and saw Diana she goes, “Cheche!” And I go, “DIANA NO! Where was the fucking downhill?!” She claims the hike was hard for her, which it was, but she seems great. Me, on the other hand, I’m not doing too hot. This is definitely challenging as hell and I vaguely remember crying the whole time. I finally called for someone to pick us up and go to Wee Vill! Thank God for Wee Vill! Fucking uphill in direct sun for 6.6 fucking miles. My feet, ankles, Achilles tendon, knees, hips, lower back, mid back, shoulders, and neck are shot.
Cowboy Camping at Wee Vill
We decided to stay at Wee Vill for the night, the whole next day, and leave to hike the aqueduct at night, as recommended. BECAUSE IT’S TOO DAMN HOT. I have to carry at least 10 liters of water for the next stretch because there won’t be water for 17 miles. Hikers were getting ready to leave when we got to Wee Vill and a girl kept saying “omg this is SoOo heavy! How am I going to carry this much water. I’m like nervous for this section!” Fuck! 10 liters of water is about 22 lbs! FUUUCCCKKK… Beast Cub counted how many hikers were at Wee Vill when we got there.
Bathroom at Wee Vill, Sink on the Right is Out of Order
There were 23, 8 females, and 15 males. All sharing one bathroom with one stall (the other was out of order), one sink (again, the second was out of order), and two showers. Needless to say it was dirty, but felt like luxury to have a bathroom at all.
Showers at Wee Vill
I took a shower as soon as I could get up. There was a community shampoo that I used to wash my body and some of my clothes. An Alberto VO5 family size that smelt a hell of a lot better than I did. I didn’t have a towel so I wiped off with two of my designated poop wipes and put my clean clothes on damp body. I felt refreshed! Satisfied even. We cowboy camped once all the hikers left for their night hike. There were only about 11 of us left. I slept better than I have this whole time, probably because we were all together. It’s nice to be around all the hikers, I feel safer. No mountain lions or bears at Wee Vill. Everyone has been washing their clothes and I see all the women with pee rags, the best invention EVER! They are Kula pee cloths made with a microfiber on one side that is super absorbent and cleans itself in the sun!
Mulberry Tree at Wee Vill
Right before bed, a hiker named Siren was examining the tree in the middle of the grass we were all cowboy camping on and she asked me “is this a mulberry tree?” I pretended to contemplate knowing anything about trees and their different species and responded “uhhhh… I don’t know. Maybe!” She was right, I looked it up. It’s beautiful and provides nice shade, spiders, and lots of berries to fall on you. I’ll take spiders and berries over heat and bees any day. We will be night hiking again so I bought some batteries for my dead headlamp (and back ups as well). It will be flat for about 13 miles but after that the mountains have us and if it’s anything like those last 14 miles, I’ll absolutely be missing Wee Vill!
Me and the Mulberry Tree
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