Day 41 – push through the desert

June 3rd
Miles: 602.3 to 624.3 + 3 side miles

A cold morning is a welcome change over the desert mornings where the sun is already starting to bake the ground as it simmers in your lungs from the early hours trying to dry you out. It feels fresh and new, and we had no early morning mountain cows vying to get the same water.

Left early, ahead of the others, we all had music on so didn’t have much talking. We moved to the next water source, a nice spring at Landers Meadow which had great water and a small cistern full so we could rinse out disgusting socks and clothes and dry them on a nearby fence.

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The afternoons in the desert are about the “siesta” which takes us four hours or so, usually from 11am to 3pm to avoid the heat of mid day.

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These lazy afternoons are needed to conserve water and energy but cut into our daily miles. In the Sierra we will be limited by the mountain passes and the need to hike high and camp low, here we are limited by water, in Northern California and Oregon we won’t have these limiting issues so will make up days there by doing huge miles — or so the theory goes.

After siesta today we are going to hit willow spring and then try to do a huge push through the desert hot sandy section tonight, as late as we can, to avoid the heat of day. It will be tough but we want the desert behind us for good as there are rumors of dry water caches ahead so we will have heavy water carries in case.

I have gotten used to always moving, never staying in the same spot for long. It makes you think and stop to appreciate the small things. The walking let’s you think between the steps about all kinds of things.

The PCT feels like a river going to the sea as often as not. We always flow forward, never stopping and there are people ahead and behind. Much like a river there is no beginning and end, the river is the whole which is moving.

One of my favorite books is Hesse’s “Sidartha” and the river analogies make more sense when you are in the thing which is the river. If you have not read it then you should, it is great, it is the literary equivalent of ‘Enders Shadow’ of the story of Buddha.

Landers Meadow spring was great, I even got my laundry done and dried on a fence.

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After this came a great hike in the hills.

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And then there was trail magic!

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From here we went to willow spring, which you climb down a gully over rocks and eventually to the spring which was a broken pipe and a tree surrounded by a fence you have to climb over.  We arrived as the sun set and ate dinner.

We had to pack a lot of water out so we all filtered as a lone frog sung a night song.

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The idea tonight,  make night miles. I took two Advil to dull my foot and Brian and Giggles also took some for foot paon. Then we jammed 4mph to this spot nestled into the Joshua trees. Tomorrow we have just a few miles left of the desert.

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