Date: April 13, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 123.9) to bushcamp (mile 140.3)
We slept on a little knoll amongst the boulders. It was the best campsite so far. We watched the sun fade behind the mountains showering the opposing hills with an alpine glow. This morning we watched the sun rise while drinking hot beverages in our sleeping bags. It was such a wonderful treat!
We took our time getting ready and finally rolled out of camp around 8:15. Three or four hikers past by as we were getting ready and we shared a friendly “good morning.”
We are starting to create a hiking community. There are familiar faces at the water stops and camping spots- each person hiking their own hike but with a common goal- to keep going. We help one another out- commiserate about blisters and relish the moments of shade and wind.
Today felt like real desert hiking. The trail was hot- at times too windy to hike with our umbrellas so we resorted to hats and sunscreen. Both work but it is quite nice to get to camp without a thick layer of sunscreen and dirt on our faces.
In the morning, we hiked about 3 miles to Mike’s Place (a trail angel who makes pizzas in his pizza oven for hikers), grabbed 5 liters of water and left soonafer. We are still eating well with the food we’ve packed for this section and chose to skip the glutenous temptations of pizza and breakfast burritos.
The trail climbed most of the morning. As it began to descend, we remained on a ridge overlooking a small city. In the distance we could see a snow capped peak and large mountains in between. It is crazy to think that we may be walking through those mountains in a few weeks.
While on the ridge with the town in view we checked to see if we had service. Text messages and app alerts immediately came through. We were pleasantly surprised to see a town fund donation from someone we don’t know. The trail magic continues.
We are choosing not to disclose names on our blog so the donator shall remain anonymous. Thank you very much for your kind words and generous donation, we really, really appreciate it!
Throughout the day we took a few shoes off breaks to rest our feet and air out our sweaty socks. Our original plan was to wash and switch socks regularly throughout the day but with water sources every 10 miles we somewhat abandoned that plan.
Our feet are happy though. Or as happy as they can be with hiking 15 miles day after day. Laurie’s blisters didn’t require minor surgery tonight so we consider that an improvement. It still takes at least 10 min to prep our feet each morning but it is totally worth it!
We walked past many dry creek beds scattered with small white flowers. Small yellow and purple flowers line the trail in other areas. There is an unexpected beauty to the desert this time of year. To compliment the flora, the only fauna we encountered today was a curious horny toad.
Throughout the day, we ponder many things. One of them is thay the hiking life is simple. You wake up – pack all of your belongings into a backpack – and start walking. You stop when you want, eat when you want and go to the bathroom when you want.
Our bodies are free to find their natural rhythms. In the city, we eat and poop around work schedules. It is nice to let our bodies rather than clocks dictate our routines.
We made it to our planned campsite but there were already 3 people set up. One guy suggested a spot just up the trail. We lay here now starting up at the stars nestled between bushes, relatively protected from the wind.
Tomorrow we head to Paradise Cafe to sort out a plan for the next few days since our original itinerary gets us in to Idyllwild on Saturday when all the hotels have a 2 night minimum and are booked solid. We’ll figure it out. We always do.
Tonight we are grateful for laughter when brushing our teeth and unexpected generosity of strangers.