Miles hiked: 22.1, into Section C!
Camped at: cowboy camping at Mesa Wind Farm with TDP
This afternoon exemplified what I had previously imagined desert hiking to be like – relentlessly hot, sandy, windy, and thirsty. While I had enough water, my mouth was continuously parched from the dryness. Lesson learned – don’t cut the siesta short because you want to get someplace to pick up your next box of food, which only makes your pack heavier. Getting to trail angels’ Ziggy and the Bear’s house was literally an oasis. When TDP and I arrived, we were immediately offered Gatorade and a foot wash, followed by a shower. Ahhhh. As I sorted through my box more and more hiker friends arrived, new and old. However, TDP and I looked at each other and quickly decided that we should go on a few miles – if only to get a restful night’s sleep and try night hiking for the first time on this trip. 3 more miles starting out at 7:30 pm as the sun was quickly setting was odd, but my feet felt much rejuvenated compared to a few hours before.
Future PCT-ers, the decent down San Jacinto/Fuller Ridge is hot and exposed, but considering you lose over 6000 feet, it is extremely gradual. The trail was overgrown in places and it’s hard to avoid prickly and scratchy plants, another reason for tall gaiters or pants. You can find shade for siesta in the last few miles of the descent before the fountain (and the nasty walk across the valley), several large rocks make some great little areas.
I struggled today with fluctuating hormones and am hoping my body settles down soon, as my enjoyment of being out here isn’t as readily apparent. Not that I mind reminding myself! Still, I find myself annoyed by small things that normally I might shrug off, and nausea and cramps continue which are even more annoying.
I love hiking in the early morning and evening hours, here’s to the new schedule. Considering my breathing problem with elevation, I’m trying to not let myself get too psyched out about the climb into the San Bernardinos tomorrow. I almost made 10 miles before 10am today – was just 0.2 miles short! Oh well – will probably make it tomorrow, we’re getting an even earlier start.
With my new umbrella, not-so-Mr-Gimpy; and with the Bear at his house!