Tent site – warner springs
22 miles. 3047ft up. 4733ft down.
I was absolutely dead to the world. It was good to be back on the trail to get a good nights sleep! I woke easily at 5:30 and we were hiking at 6. I had my shorts on but I was wrapped up in my hat gloves and jacket as it was a bit chilly.
Even when the sun came up it didn’t get warm. The trail was twisty and turny and just when I thought of delayering it would go back into the shade. I made it to Mikes Place. Mike is a trail angel who has a water tank outside his house which is a welcome water source in a very dry stretch of trail. I sat in the sun and waited for Catwater. We filled up with water for the the next 18 miles and got going again. We had two hours on yesterday but we seem to be moving slowly.
There rest of the day was really easy walking. It helped that it wasn’t too hot. I didn’t delayer until 10 and even after that there was only an hour or so where it got a bit hot. I remember this section of trail being a real struggle, but it’s flat and easy. It’s not gotten easier. I’ve got stronger.
I hike on ahead so I can listen to my audiobooks. I’ve become one of those annoying people that likes to listen out of the speaker rather than the headphones. It’s one of those days where I would just keep walking without stopping but I was aware of getting too far ahead so I stopped and ate some cheese and crisps for lunch to give Catwater a chance to catch up. She is not a slow hiker, she just likes to take lots of breaks!
I come across a group of 5 youngsters, late teens maybe, and they are absolutely amazed that I have hiked from Canada. They ask loads of really sensible question and ask for advice on kit and food – I tell them I’m not the best person to ask about food because I’m only carrying Swiss chess and crisps. At least one of them will go on to hike the trail which is awesome. They tell me they have hiked 7 miles today and I tell them that’s great. I genuinely mean it, but it’s hard not to come across as patronising.
I then come across a 4 guys with a gaggle of kids (I’m sure that’s the official term) about 8-10 years old. They ask me all sorts of questions and even offer me a place to stay in San Diego if I need one which is so kind of them. The kids don’t say much to me but they must have been thinking about it because when they saw Catwater later they asked her questions like: Are you a professional hiker? and Do you enter hiking competitions?
We carried on the gently rolling, almost flat trail. And my legs weren’t painful at all today. The Aleve has built itself up again. It gets pretty windy as we cross the open plains. We get to Warner Springs just after 4. A nice guy tells us where we can go to get water and that we can camp next to the community centre which is closed. We knew we could get water from there but we’re unsure of the camping situation. Our plan had been to just get water and carry on another couple of miles. But here there is water, trash cans, flat ground and real toilets. We might as well stay the night. That way we don’t have to haul extra water. Anything not to have to carry the extra weight.
I pitch my tent, somewhere someone is cooking and the smell is drifting over our way. It’s torture! It smells like burgers. Then go to the toilet. There is a mirror in there and I look into it and burst into laughter. It was a bit windy but my hair appears to have developed a life of its own! I could see that I had a couple of sticky up bits in my shadow but this is ridiculous! I have spoken to a bunch of people today, no one said anything!
We are in our tents early although it’s not as cold tonight. I eat some cheese and crisps and I stay sitting for along as I can so I don’t fall asleep so early. But my hips start to ache and I have to lie down. I need a wee bit I refuse to go until 9pm. This keeps me awake!
I hear lots of rustling in the leaves and there are things falling from the tree. I assume it’s birds or squirrels in the tree but there sounds like there is something larger kicking about in the leaves on the ground. The only thing you can do in these situations is ignore it. So that’s what I did.
I look at the maps and do a few calculations, I must be close to the 5000 mile mark. I missed it. It was 10 miles back. 5000 miles. That’s a really long way.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.