21km

 

Today was tough at the end.

We woke up on a mountain top as the sun rose and ate our daily oatmeal. We climbed to the summit which the book claimed had a "wow" view and it was spectacular. Desert as far as you could see or imagine. Then we pressed on mostly down into the valley. The morning’s walking wasn't hard and we found ourselves stumbling upon an "oasis" aka a spring with tons of water that was so breath taking. We spent some time there soaking in how crazy the world is, especially the desert. We snacked a bit then kept moving. We both felt sluggish and by 9:30 it was time for music. We both put headphones in and pressed on the slow uphill, followed by a huge downhill to the shadiest desert valley ever. Such a strange day.

After two hours of lounging, eating, cards and some book, we pressed on. By now it was 1:30.

The heat had come. The desert felt so hot all of a sudden which I know sounds stupid but it hasn't been that hot. All of a sudden I felt the heat everywhere, as it not only beamed down on me but radiated up from the rocks and sand below my feet. It roasted my shoes until my feet were boiling and I was short on my water predictions so now I was really in a mood. The trail also climbed straight up again. My body dragged and when the climb finally leveled off and hit a road after 3km we took another break. Russ and I talked about a siesta and eventually tucked into the shade of a bush for another hour and a half while the hottest part of the day passed - really taking me back to the PCT. We played more cards then close to 4 pressed on. Being short on water sucks, and the heat was making my brain feel like mush. We chatted for a while then I got in my head stuck on a negative loop of thoughts. No need to go into details, let's just say sometimes it's really easy to get thinking about all the reasons you’re a bad person and all the things that are wrong with you. And they just loop. I hike fast when my brain does this, and Russ asked what happened since my speed had dramatically increased. I wanted to be done. I felt like I was running the last few km and when we arrived at the campsite I was so happy. Time to think about something else.

The desert has designated camp areas, but it’s nearly impossible to get stakes in the ground here so we're cowboy camped, which I missed dearly. The stars are unreal. Wow. I think I said this yesterday, or a few days ago but if you haven't gone star gazing recently, go do it. It's humbling. We had lentils with cream of broccoli soup and chatted with a guy from Belgium going northbound.

I think that's mostly it for now, town is tomorrow and I'm very ready for laundry!

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