Hours on Trail: 7
Mile Marker: 458
– 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. –
We awoke to an already warm morning. Last night, we agreed to sleep until 6am rather than 5am since we didn’t get to bed till 11pm. I expected a rather slow morning, but we actually got going faster than I anticipated. Neither of us wanted to leave the shade of the trees at the KOA, but we knew we had to at some point in time. By 8am we were headed out to the trail. I felt surprisingly awake and Keith was excited to test a pair of shoes he had found in the hiker box.
The day started with a hot and sweaty uphill. In about an hour I was sleepy, exhausted, and just plain down hot. We’ve learned my morale really struggled when I’m sleepy and that’s probably why I didn’t have the best morning. The environment we were in didn’t help either as all the plants were ankle height or less, leaving no shade in sight. It’s hours like those that I’m glad to have Keith leading the pace so that I can mindlessly fall behind. Around 10am we stopped on a high ridge for second breakfast and watched the cars speed along Hwy 14 below. The ridge was breezy and cooled us down while we munched on granola, peanut butter tortillas. We shared some Gatorade with 3 packets of sugar added which helped wake me up a bit.
With a better outlook on life I followed Keith down around the ridges and in and out of the hills. We parrelleled the highway for a bit before dropping down even further into a canyon. At the bottom of the valley a drain tunnel ran under the highway, this was our crossing. We entered the tunnel and emerged on the other side to an entirely new environment. It was as if we had stepped out of the barren desert and into an area similar to Arches National Park in Utah. The reddish rocks jutted out of the ground towards the sky. We walked through above-head bushes while the breeze blew everything around. Soon, we came upon a little outcropping in red rocks and sat on a lot for a nice break. The air from the shaded rocks was cool and we were both thankful for this.
We headed up out of the valley and through a park which has apparently been the sight of a few movies in the past. One hiker who passed us told us the area was used in multiple films as it appeared so “other-worldly.” I took a few pictures, but given the heat we moved quickly through the area. Creating a ridge we came upon Agua Dulce. It’s been a running joke between Keith and I to come up with a new title for this town every time it’s mentioned for the past few days. Agua Caliente, Sweet and Sour, and Agatha Cristi were among some of the more hilarious ones. We walked along a road for quite awhile before arriving at the grocery store for the area. Sitting our packs near some chairs and a table we figured out what we needed before Keith headed inside. I sat outside and watched the packs as well as the heat waves jump across the road. Soon Keith returned with chocolate milk, icecream, and other more important items. We planned to walk a mile off trail to Hiker Heaven which a wonderful couples house who host many many hikers every day. They also accept resupply packages and we had sent ours there.
After our break we walked down the road and entered the gate into Hiker Heaven. We were welcomed and shown around the property. They had tents for shade, an area to send and receive packages, an area for laundry, outdoor showers, hiker boxes, a large area for tents, and places to sit everywhere. We thanked them for the tour and everything and went to stuff our resupply boxes. Keith and I planned to only be there for a few hours or so and pass by the heat of the day. I called Jacob (my boyfriend) and chatted for a while as well as talked with a few other hikers around. Soon the truck which hauls hikers back and forth the miles we had walked from town was headed out. We decided we may as well take a ride back and hopped in the bed of the truck with our packs. Since we were dropped off at the grocery store again, we walked in and got some Pop-Tarts for the road.
Back on “trail” again we followed paved roads and dirt roads back towards the hills. I was excited for evening and higher elevation. Keith and I talked a little bit the heat took most of our conversation. A few miles in we noticed a nice area for a camp spot and since it was already around 6pm we decided to spend the night. We played the ground cloth out and I called Jacob a second time. Long distance can be rough sometimes. After the phone call we set up the tent and ate dinner. The large bush we set up next to was soon filled with birds and they shook the leaves as they fluttered about. We decided to stick with just the bug net tonight, so we get a gorgeous view of the stars. Tomorrow we head up into the hills. Hopefully we’ll get an early start and beat the heat just a bit.