Since I got no sleep, it wasn’t hard to get up to see the gorgeous sunrise! I packed up my things before everyone else and went over to Andrea Jane to apologize about my tent noise. She said she didn’t hear anything except the wind itself! The morning started out along a beautiful ridge with soft green mountains below. On my first break, the two Swedes passed by and asked me what I was eating. I told them it was my second breakfast. They said, “Second? What was your first?” and when I answered Poptarts, Robin answered, “That’s why!”. I guess he was right. Later on, I played leap-frog with two guys I had never seen before- Ted and Andrew. I asked them if they had seen Muk-Muk and they said they saw her taking a break at a creek yesterday and that she seemed to be taking her time.
I continued along and as I thought about the trail angels who put water out for us and all the people who help us in making our dream of walking from Mexico to Canada come true, tears gathered in my eyes. Sometimes I think that all we are doing is walking and not doing any good for anyone else… Why do we deserve this?
The scenery became more brown and dusty as I walked and the temperature rose. The only decent water source in this area was a quarter mile off the trail. I set my pack down behind a rock and took my water bags and filter down the dirt road. As I walked, a saw a patch of brilliant green trees where the water was. Amazing! Ted and Andrew had walked down as I was taking off my pack and we each found a bit of grass to sit on and filter our water. One of them asked about Muk Muk… “So, she’s your friend? She seems pretty cool…” I just said yes, she is. (Apparently every single guy on the trail immediately fell in love with her!) The Swedes came down as I headed back up the hill and I showed them where the water was and asked them if they wanted to borrow my filter since they had a slow-pumping one. They said they were fine. The heat bore down on us and a little ways ahead, the Swedes decided to seek refuge under a tree. I kept going and bypassed a perfect spot to take a break at- under a huge willow tree near a small stream filled with green algae. I felt that I didn’t need a break at that point.
By the time I reached the Oasis cache, I was sweltering. I took a peak at the registry, filled up on water, and then looked around for a bush to rest under across the dirt road. I laid out my sleeping pad, set up my umbrella in the branches above me, and tried to close my eyes. Flies landed on my legs and I had to keep brushing them away, and my body was still sweating even though it was still! I was so uncomfortable that I started to wonder what I was doing out there and that maybe I didn’t want to be hiking in the desert after all. However, after I envisioned myself lying on my couch back at home, I said “no way! I’m going to keep going!”. My thermometer read 102 after being in the shade for 40 minutes. I packed up my things and heard chatter at the water cache. I wanted to get a bit more water before I headed out so I went back to it. I told the older couple what my thermometer said and the man immediately dismissed it, saying it couldn’t be right or they couldn’t be hiking right now. Ummm… actually it is right and that is why I needed to seek shelter under the bush!! Then Greg appeared and said, “Wendy! Where did you come from?”
I said that I came from a bush over there!
I then started the next climb. I saw many beautiful desert flowers- yellow ones, pink ones, red ones, and purple ones. Even though I don’t know anything about the plant life out there, at times, a word such as “lupine” would come into my head when I saw a particular flower. I don’t really know where that was coming from.
As dusk approached, I started to look for a campsite. Nothing obvious was appearing and I went off the trail a bit to look around in the woods. I decided to keep going. Then, I came upon some tents. Anastasia, Archie, and Joey were set up and called out to me. “How far are you going tonight?’ one of them asked. I said, “Right here!”. I went over to say hi for a minute and thought it was so cute that they had set their tents up in a triangle formation with the doors facing each other. I had first seen this group at Mike’s place. They were friends from Redding, CA. I looked for my own spot and after the first place ended up not working, I moved closer to them, behind a small tree. It was already getting dark and I was tired. Once inside my tent, I noticed a tick on my rain pants! I had forgotten all about checking for them and this sighting caused me some concern.
All of us were excited to get to the Paradise Cafe the next morning for breakfast. It is normally closed on Tuesdays, which tomorrow was, but we had heard a rumor that the owner was opening it up for us hikers for the next couple of weeks! Hooray!