I should have slept without the fly on my tent last night. It was boiling. The wind got up in the middle of the night but I think I slept through most of it. 
We have 6200ft of climbing today – back up everything we lost a couple of days ago! And I was – you guessed it – dreading it. I got an early 6:30am start. 

 
I had absolutely no energy this morning. I was definitely on the struggle bus. I think I was a bit dehydrated, I was unconvinced of the warm creek water. I filtered some more water about 5 miles in. 

  

I spent most of the morning feeling like someone was pulling me back with a rope. It was a struggle. 

We followed the creek and I lost the path a few times. I leapfrogged with a few people today, mostly the tits. We have different hiking styles – I am slow and steady and take very few breaks, the Tits go hard but stop for longer, so we tend to cross over a lot during the day. It started off very hot and dry and it’s difficult to breathe when it’s like that. I must have seen at least 10000 lizards. 
The morning was very deserty, everything is very dead looking. It’s like it’s whispering at you – just walk through, you won’t survive if you stay! 

  

I saw poodle dog bush for the first time today. It is very distinctive. Everyone kept saying you’ll know it when you see it and they are right! It smells really strong. It looks like it may have been sprayed with something to try and kill it off. I stayed as far as way as I could from it. 

 
Further up into the climb we came into pine forest. I filtered water from a bucket that had a stream trickling into it – I keep forgetting to get a picture of the water sources. This source was ice cold.  

  

We had 4 more miles to camp which seemed to go on forever. It was starting to get late (5:30pm ish) and it was getting cold at 8500 ft, there was still some snow hanging around. 

  

Roxanne and I camped in the middle of nowhere and we were joined by the Tits. 

I didn’t want to cook anything but I was glad I did as I had the best dinner yet. Garlic and herb couscous, olive oil, Parmesan and Slim Jim chopped up (like a peperami). Mmm delicious. 

 
18.5 miles today and a beautiful sunset at the end of it…

 

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