Daily mileage: 24.5
A quick mile or do and we hit the Kelso Rd water cache. That was great, but still so early that we grabbed a little water and headed off for another mile or so until or breakfast stop amidst a small forest of Joshua trees. I'm still talking it a little slow so the guys were off and I trotted along by myself all morning.
When I first started this trip I was told that the first section of trail was 700 miles of desert. Yeah, we have had a ton of not very desert like sections and it has all been amazing. But according to the guidebook there are only about 50 miles of desert left before Kennedy meadows and today was the start. Wow was this some crazy scenery though. Up and around some huge mountains, no foothills here. So dry and full of Joshua trees and wind. Still a very lonely kind of place.
I did spend half my day singing at the top of my lungs because really, who can hear me in all that wind? After quite a climb and even more contouring and crossing a million off road vehicle paths I got to the bird spring water cache where the cousins and caveman were still sitting huddled against the wind. Did I mention the wind? Yeah no hot desert today, while hiking the wind was blasting, I was stumbling in the sandy path and it was all of 48-52 degrees out in the sun. Grabbed a little more water and climbed something like 1000 ft before finding the rest of my group in a somewhat sheltered siesta spot. As a side note I am not crazy, the guys I hike with are insanely fast. Their speed increase as they go up and I watched them pass multiple other hikers as they headed up the mountain. I always feel slow when I actually hike with them (which is why I rarely do) but it's not just me, it's everyone. But hey according to them I am almost always within 5-15 minutes of them which helps my ego a little bit. They are two long distance cyclists and an ultra runner, me not so much.
Siesta started out a little cold and ended up with us all huddled on our sleeping bags playing cards and whining about how cold our hands were. Thermometer said it was about 40 plus there was wind. That is for sure the coldest it has been during the day so far.
Hiked our usual 5-6 miles post siesta. Camped in the trail, 38 degrees out at 8 pm. Somehow I don't think tonight is going to be a warm one.
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