Mile 488  to 508

I awoke to the sensation of water hitting my face and my eyes snapped open. We were in a cloud and it was starting to rain. I sat up and reached into my pack, pulled out my tent, and started to pitch it. I laid it out, staked in the front and back, and threw my sleeping bag in it to keep it from getting soaked.

I looked up and headlamps were turning on around camp as others started to rise. Bedazzled and Fun Dip were just sitting up. Fun Dip yelled it’s almost 4:00. We were planning to wake up at 4:30 anyways so I stopped setting up my tent and instead started packing up. We would just start hiking.

We left the wet camp in our rain gear and started up the trail, which would have us climbing for the next couple miles. I took the lead, per usual, and alternated between headlamp on in the dense brush and off in more open areas. When you are in a cloud, your headlamp’s beam doesn’t travel far and a lot of the light is reflected back by the mist isn’t always advantageous to have it on.

Eventually, we popped out of the trees and saw the Mojave Desert thousands of feet below and the sun just cresting a bank of clouds on the horizon. All six of us stopped to watch the sunrise before us.

We continued on in golden light now fully awake. The clouds would stick around most of the morning moving with the high winds through the valleys below out toward the Mojave were they would evaporate and vanish into thin air.

We passed a water cistern that had a dead bird in it and decide we would take our chances with the next spot called the Guzzler Cistern. It was a good decision, and we decide to siesta at 11:00 in the ample shade near the second cistern.

The wind was still strong so we moved to the fire road, which was fully in the sun and ate our linner. We all then promptly passed out on the road. The scene looked like that aftermath of a Mexican cartel hit. Bodies were strewn across the road face down with their belongings scattered around them. Hikers must have passed by as they went to the water wondering what strange fate had befallen us.

We awoke for the second time that day and wiped the dirt from our faces. I made a quick call to my mom who will be meeting me in the town of Mojave for a couple days as we rest up before the final desert section before the Sierra Nevada.

We also passed the 500 mile mark today and started singing, the classic song  “and I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more…”

We walked another 4 miles after our siesta and decided to make camp. We ran into Mowgli, Space Jam, 10 Gallon, and Specs at the campsite. They were moving on a little further and we said our goodbyes. It was good to see them again.

In a pleasant turn of events, the weather forcast changed and it it supposed to be in the 70s tomorrow, which means we probably won’t need to night hike the L.A. Aqueduct, a long hot, dry section of trail that lasts for about 30 miles. It is a pretty miserable section, especially in the heat, but it sounds like we might get lucky.

In other news, I can’t wait to get to the post off in Tehachapi to pick up a smaller hipbelt for my pack and a new pair of shoes. The cushion and insoles of my current pair are completely worn out and the sides of the toe box have ripped off the sole. I have been getting some foot pain the last 3 days and it hurts when I step.

I can’t beleive the desert is almost over. Less than 200 miles left.

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