Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 69 - The Hill Tops have Trees

Tuesday June 23

Our campsite near Little Jamison Creek must have been popular. At sundown, three other campers set up their tents. Of course, Willy and I left before any one else was stirring about. We hit the trail at 5:30. 

The trail today followed the hilltop ridges. However, most of the hilltops are now forested, so there are few good views out to the surrounding countryside. I did see a mountain with a reflection in a lake. 

Several times we passed through forests where the tree trunks were covered in moss.

In the afternoon the temperature was in the mid-80's. The trail often was lined by flowers. Many different kinds of butterflies would chase each other. Some would seemingly lead the way down the trail.

We leapfrogged with "Double Happiness" and "Dirty Bowl" several times today. I first met Double Happiness just before Idyllwild. 

We now are keeping track of reliable water sources. We carried extra water for dinner, since we knew we would be dry camping. Dry camping means you camp where there isn't a close source of water. 

Now for my commentary on water purification. By far, most hikers use the Sawyer water filter. It is simple to use, but the drawback is that the filter will clog over time and become more difficult to use. In addition, the filter must be protected from freezing. 

A few use the Steri-Pen, which uses ultraviolet light. It is very fast, purifying a liter of water in 90 seconds. The drawbacks are that the unit uses special batteries. In addition, in sunlight it can be hard to tell if the unit is working properly. 

I use household bleach. I put two drops into a liter of water and let it mix for at least an hour. It is very quick to do. The drawback is that some can taste and smell the bleach. It is not a problem for me, and the method has worked well so far. In addition, there is a waiting time before the water can be consumed. I always have an extra liter that has been treated, so I can transfer it to my drinking container. 

I have used the Sawyer mini-filter and became very frustrated with the time it took to do the filtering. I understand that the larger filter works better. 

If I were to give advice, try the Sawyer filter. Also try adding bleach to water to see how it tastes. Do some online research. No method is absolutely perfect. And one more thing, in the desert, I was able to resupply from local water faucets at least 1/3 of the time. You are not always going to be getting water from a stream, pond or water trough!

I am camped tonight at PCT mile 1242.9. We hiked 26.7 miles today. The elevation here is 5,491 feet. 

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