Daily miles 22
Total miles 631
Tough day today.
The heat was a killer. We started off the day in the nice pine forest where we had slept and slowly worked out of it as the morning progressed. The light was beautiful this morning and the lupine and other flowers looked quite pretty in the morning magic hours.
Gazelle didn’t start hiking this am with us. Her tummy was not great and she wanted to try and get a bit more sleep before leaving camp.
Our first miles of the day were all downhill to Kelso Valley Road. There was a water cache here. The water report listed this one as no longer maintained, but some trail Intel from a southbounder yesterday had the cache being serviced with plenty of water. This was excellent news for us. We hung out here with XC and Cowgirl for a longish break, watching a bunny bounce around the area.
Heading out from here, we were climbing and slipping and sliding in the sand. Not so fun as the heat began to press on us. This area lacks for shade vegetation and we ultimately stopped under some Joshua Trees a bit after 11am. We stayed in the shade, moving every so often as the sun moved across the sky. While Joshua trees are unique and interesting (at least for those of us not from these parts), they are not big shade givers and have some many pokey things on them, we find ourselves not enjoying the tree species too much. But, the shade we got from them was all there was too be had.
We spent around 5 hours resting and waiting out the heat of the day. Gazelle caught up doing our break, but when we were ready to start the second half of our miles for the day, she asks feeling so great. She was going to wait to hear from a trail angel that could hopefully pick her up as we were near a dirt road. XC was going to wait with her for a bit so we headed on.
The rest of the afternoon was mix of comfortable walking when the breeze was blowing and some steep climbs in the hot loose, slow sand. Diesel caught up with us just before our stopping point and we walked with him for a bit.
We ended the day at a water cache. This cache had the extra bonus of having chocolate bars and granola bars at it as well. What a treat!
We are very glad to be hammocking tonight and are uphill on the slope of the mountain just short of the water cache. It is a tight squeeze between some pines, but it should work great. The wind is blowing strong and the stars are bright. We have about 6 hours before we get up for our last 20+ mile push of this four day stretch. Tomorrow we will somehow get into a town and resupply.