Day 6: Friday, May 10

Cowboying at Barrel Spring (101.1), a 9.9 mile day.

Woke up at 6:30 with the sun shining directly in my face and the temperature rising, which was sufficient to inspire me to action. Got water from the enormous Third Gate cache (again, 50+ gallons) and walked the first 10ish miles with one small break in the middle, to eat one of the avocados I had purchased yesterday. Perfect trail snack. Sunny, warm and mostly windless for the morning ... the desert stuff I was imagining before I came out here.

Got to Barrel Spring, which is an oasis-like area with lots of big shady trees, around 11:30. First natural water source I've gotten to drink from so far on the trail. Only people there were Karen and Sam, a mother-daughter thru-hiking team who were still packing up from camping here the night before. After awhile, the mom, Karen, decided apparently unilaterally that she and Sam were going to take a zero and hitch to the Ranchita store 3 miles down the road for beer. If there was any extra leftover, we could leave it in the cold-water trough for anyone behind us. This plan met with my approval, Alex's too when he arrived a few minutes later.

There went the afternoon. Eventually others joined us, like Mr. T-Cozy and the Clintons (friends named Hilary and Chelsea who are thru-hiking together). We talked about Sixto Rodriguez a lot, and then a bunch of other stuff. We were all in the bag by about 4pm, when Karen made a second b-double-e-double-r-u-n beer run. There are still about 20 of them floating in the trough for posterity. Tomorrow: to Warner Springs, and beyond!