Hours on Trail: 12
Mile Marker: 478
– Note: I apologize for the lack of posting as of late. We’ve been without service (or at least enough that would allow me to post) for the past several weeks. I’ll be mass blogging while we have service, so bare with me as I get you updated. As of 6.11.18, we are approximately at mile marker 1,044 and are happy, healthy, and thoroughly enjoying this trip. We both really appreciate you keeping up with our adventure. –
The moon shone bright on us when we opened our eyes this morning. Soon the sun overcame the moon and we had a decently lit morning to pack up. Knowing we’d start the day with a climb we headed out a little before 7am. I signed the trail register along the trail “5/8 -Emily & Keith ‘Team Blue'” before we got too far down the trail. Up into the desert hills we went. It stayed pretty cool throughout the morning, but we were still covered in sweat by 9am. After a two hour climb we crested over a ridge and headed down the other side. This side clearly had some moisture occasionally as small oak trees and other non-desert plants were all around. Thankful for the shade provided by the trees, we walked through gnat filled land.
Around 10am we stopped for water at a spring. This must be the place for water no matter what you are as there were hundreds of little bees buzzing around drinking up from the moist ground. They didn’t bother me at all as I knelt down to fill our water container from the small PVC pipe which ran from the spring. After we filled up with water we headed back out and stopped for second breakfast in the shade of a very large bush. Looking out over the green valley below I wished all the desert brush were trees and fern instead. You start to miss the cool ocean breeze at a time like this.
We walked and talked for the rest of the day. I had had a rather awkward social interaction yesterday and it still laid heavy on my mind. Keith and I agreed that my relatively small physical frame probably appears weak and fragile to some. This may be why I get comments from folks who are currently hiking, warning me and trying to convince me to stay in town overnight. Either way, we talked about how it went and how I could handle those type of interactions better. While I knew there would be some social interaction on the trail I hadn’t expected to run into multiple negative interactions.
The day was long and hot, and when we stopped for lunch under another shade bush we decided to stay for awhile. Laying out the ground cloth we sat and laid back for a nice mid-day break to wait out the hot hours of the day. We hung out for about 2 hours before finally packing back up and slowly dying to the heat. It sure was a sweaty one today and it almost did both of us in. We took breaks frequently and looked forward to the evening when the sun would leave us be.
We came across a few snakes and one little rattlesnake who had clearly just eaten. A rock tossed at his head convinced him to move along and we passed by without a scare. The day was getting long after our nice break and we stopped for a food break around 4pm. We still had 5 or more miles to go before we made camp. There was a possibility of a camp spot at mile 478, but we knew for certain there was one at 481. As we descended from the hills I knew I didn’t want to walk any further. I was tired and hot and ready to be done with the day.
We came upon another trail register which we signed and passed a few nice camp spots. While they were near the road they seemed nice and hidden. We stopped to look at them and discuss our options when we heard a lady’s voice asking if we would like some fruit and sodas. Excited about anything icy cold we followed her to the road where she had parked. In the back were bags of gummy candies, ice cold Gatorade and soda, oranges, and other assorted snacks. I was so happy. Anything cold sounded absolutely perfect. As we ate and drank we chatted with the couple who park here after work and take hikers into town or just give them food. We were the only hikers around at the time so we stayed quite awhile and chatted about all sorts of things. Soon a few other hikers joined and Keith and I realized we should probably go set up camp. The couple had recommended the spots we had just passed, so we thanked them again for all they did for us and headed back into some trees.
After finding a spot we settled in for the night. I was still so happy about the cold Gatorade and oranges. After such a long, hot and gruling day it was an incredible gift to have something cold. We crawled into the tent just around 8pm. Tomorrow we will wake up and do this all over again. I hope the sun is a bit more kind to us, but I doubt it will be. Either way, I’m sure we’ll find some way to survive the heat.