Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29 2008

Hit the trail around 6:30 after eating a hot oatmeal breakfast. It was a pretty sunrise, a few wispy clouds catching color. The 8 mile stretch to Tule Canyon, our next water source, was almost all a nice easy downhill -- I ran most of the way, and got to the water at 9:15 or so even with a half hour break. Isaac, the guy who found my jacket, was camped next to the tank. he was a sweet, effeminate guy from Boise, Idaho. After about a half an hour, lots of other hikers started showing up. We were all discussing the same issue -- whether to carry water to Paradise Cafe or not. There were two potential water stops in between but no one was certain of either. Nance Canyon creek was 3 miles away. I felt an intuition that it would be a nicer place to hang out than beside a concrete tank, so I filled up my water and hiked on by myself and got there at exactly noon going at a leisurely pace.
The canyon was incredible to descend into -- the stream was deep between cliff-sided hills, a green creek full of tadpoles, a few shady oaks and a comfortable flat grassy places to lie down and eat lunch. I had it all to myself for almost an hour, and then Wasa showed up and we continued to enjoy it relative silence, he took a nap and I painted. Wasa is one of the few clean shaven hiker guys and likes health food (a lot of hikers do actually, I've been surprised to learn, considering the reputation thru-hikers have for loving any high calorie junk food) He seemed to have similar taste in cooking as Joanne and I. We talked a bit about work and vocation, and other hikers started trickling by. Evenutally Joanne and Casey and Sly showed up and we all lounged around. We met a hiker named Backtrack who was keen on getting us trailnames. He suggested Tink(erbell) for Joanne because of her outfit. She suggested Domino for me since I'm kind of sugar fiend. But then, since we were both sewing buttons while this conversation was taking place, a hiker named Papa Bear suggested Sew 'n' Sew, which got a great laugh out of everyone and we readily accepted it, since its a good way for other hikers to refer to us as a team, but allows us to maintain our individual regular names for conveniences sake. Who knows, maybe we'll get individual trail names too, but for now I like Sew 'n' Sew.
We finally hiked on a little before 5, reached the "Hiker's Oasis" cache at 6, ( it had plenty of water) and camped just past it, up a wash from Cuppa Joe's tent.

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