May 24: today I woke up and for the first time, did not want to hike. My exact thoughts were "no! I can't go back out in that wind!" So I went back to sleep for another hour.
I had slept in a little protected area with about 7 other people, surrounded by turbines up on the hills all around us. It was fine for sleeping but a reminder of that incessant wind. Finally, u could put off the inevitable no longer- I packed up and hit the trail.
It was a weird morning: foggy and cool.
Before long, the fog burned away and the wind died down. Hallelujah! And it turned out to me rather pleasant hiking.
I spent the day leapfrogging back and forth with several hikers - Redfeather and Alaska, Cookie Monster, Slim Chance - taking breaks and eating together. There was water every so often today, as well, so we didn't have to carry as much. We also saw lots of locals on dirt bikes and ATVs, so it was nice to not feel all isolated in the middle of nowhere.
The trail joined up with a dirt road for about 3 miles where it got steep and rugged. Kind of funny to think that the road was steeper and more rugged than a hiking trail! And we passed this:
But you know what? Change to the metric system and it seems much more impressive!
Of course, when you are in the Mojave desert, not all the locals are friendly guys on ATVs:
We stayed away from Casa de Oso!
Toward the end of the day, we passed a campground with a spring. Time to load up- we were heading into our longest waterless stretch to date: 44 miles! Talk about a heavy pack!
Slept up on a ridge in a beautiful scenic campsite. The Stars were spectacular at night!
Peace, love, and trail magic!