Today was tough. Filled with ups and downs – in more ways than one! We made our way to the monument with Scout. He has the best stories! Unfortunately I can’t share them – we made a pinky swear.

I felt strange in the car – like it was all happening to someone else. It didn’t seem like it was real until I reached mile 8 which was when I thought to myself… What. The fuck. Am. I. Doing???

The first 8 miles were great, I was walking with 2 other girls and it was nice to not be starting on your own. Eventually we got separated, one behind me, one in front. Here I was, all alone. I liked it. Until I started to feel weird. I felt nauseous and had no energy at all. Onset of heat stroke? Luckily I am very sensible and managed it by finding some shade, putting something cool on my neck, drinking and eating. I sat for a while and aired my feet and listened – hardly a sound.

The trail is great, good terrain, not that demanding really – but the heat, the heat is something else! It zaps all of your energy. I expected it to be windy, but it’s really windy. I expected it to go up and down, but this is all up and down!

I found Kat waiting for me around mile 10 and tending to her feet. I hiked on and I found a second wind, I whizzed down the next 6 miles. I felt good. I met a hiker – John – and we walked together for an hour or so. Past the prisoners in their orange jumpsuits helping maintain the trail I think.

Chilled out at Hauser Creek for half an hour with a couple of other hikers.

There is a big climb out of Hauser Creek to lake Morena. 4 miles took me 3 hours!! The sun was baking still and in the first hour of the climb I felt like I was going to pass out again – 3 times! Once I reach what I thought was the crest I was in the shade and after a melted malteaster bunny I was able to pick up the pace again.

The last bit took forever. Just when you think you’re on the way down you climb again. If I was giving some advice to future thru hikers I would say stop at Hauser Canyon for the night!

Got to camp and I was so glad to see people I knew! Everyone is so friendly, I had help with my tent, I had my feet looked at by a foot doctor (not a single blister today! Apparent it’s because my feet are leathery – lovely!) and I didn’t have to cook anything, I ate people’s left overs! Suits me.

My iPhone tells me I took 80,000 steps today. That’s a lot of steps. I am debating what tomorrow holds…another 20 mile day or two shorter days? I will decide in the morning – now I am in my tent (which looks like a bomb site!) listening to the contented snores of other hikers.

Although today has been tough, it’s never crossed my mind to quit and I haven’t doubted my choice to do this. The challenge is what I’ve been missing.

(So I’m sat in a laundry room, in my knickers and gilet, in a campsite in the desert trying to update my blog. Photos are taking too long to load. Visit Instagram @masonalexandra for photos!)

(I have a better signal on the side of a mountain than the laundry room. So added some photos)

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Adventure with purpose.

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I fundraise for Just a Drop in the hope that if I walk thousands of miles for clean water then the people who need to won’t have to. Find out more


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