Started: 07:00 @ MM 109.5 – Warner Springs
Finished: 16:10 @ MM 127.3 – Mike’s Place
Water: Drank 4L. Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew & Cactus Juice @ Mike’s Place
Food: Oatmeal, Banana, Cliff Bar, Pop Tart, Trail Mix, Pizza, Sausage and Mash
Wildlife: Another SNAKE !!!
Health: Still no blisters. No change in molluscs situation. A new persistent dull ache in left foot.
The moonlight woke me up at about 4am. It was close to full and so incredibly bright that I thought somebody was shining their headtorch directly into my tent. I tossed and turned for a while, trying to find a comfortable position for my aching legs. It was too late to go back to sleep but still too early to get up. The desert mornings are so cold. I am always reluctant to emerge from my downy nest. Eventually I must and then I busy myself with the morning chores … breakfast, filtering water, breaking camp and then it’s back to the walking. I love the simplicity of life on the trail. Each day I have just a few basic goals … walk, drink, eat and sleep. It might not seem like much but the trail gives me a purpose and it is incredible how fulfilling these small daily achievements become. Today I felt that I was really starting to get into the rhythm of the trail and when I shouldered my pack and walked out of Warner Springs all on my own at 7am, the sense of liberation and freedom was palpable. This is what life on the trail is all about!
I walked alone for most of the day. My trail buddy Chance is never far away, but we have fallen into an agreeable pattern of walking alone and traveling together. We meet up for our regular shoe-offs, eat and discuss the next section of trail. Sometimes other hikers join us. Today we had lunch with Pig Pen and Chuck. We shared the cheese that had been gifted to Chance by the smelly Czechs. Pig Pen worked on her feet and embraced her inner Trash! The scenery was absolutely stunning today. The first 2 hours of hiking along the Agua Caliente Creek were cool and lush. We then climbed up and into a wonderland of mountainous boulders. I wondered what geological miracle had formed such stunning scenery. The thick shrubbery bloomed purple and blue all around and it was only my rapidly depleting water supply that reminded me that I was in the desert. Our goal for today was the home of a Trail Angel called Mike and the only teliable water supply for 10 miles in any direction. Mike’s place is a bizarre desert oasis and a stoners paradise where just about anything goes. For a “donation” you can help yourself to sodas, beer and wood fire cooked pizzas. The clientele is eclectic and I still can’t quite decide whether I have stumbled into a cult sixties hippy commune or a post-apocalyptic hide away. It makes little difference either way, I am simply grateful for the water, shade and a flat pitch. Today I achieved my goals and met my objectives. Tomorrow there will be new ones, but that is something for the morning …