May 12th, 2021
Mile marker: 48
Today’s miles hiked: 26
I was right. I didn’t hardly sleep a wink at all my first night. Not so much that I was scared of the noises but that I was hot! The temperature did drop but my sleeping bag, I have learned, is incredibly warm. This will be awesome once I am up in the Sierras but for now, it’s a bit much.
Planner and I naturally awoke around 5 am and started getting ready for the day. I wasn’t hungry but surprisingly a bit nauseous instead. I thought it may be because I didn’t eat much the night before and decided to go ahead and make my brown sugar oatmeal and coffee.
We headed out a little after 6 and immediately I felt anxious about the sun. It was coming up faster than I thought and I was scared of the heat that was to come.
We had a quick pace to knock out the first 4 miles to a water spigot at a camp ground. We ended up passing a girl who went by the name Gator. She seemed to be knocking out big days too and let us know she was trying to finish the trail in 100 days. (Planner and I both thought we needed to stick with her!)
We then continued on for quite some time preoccupying ourselves with more talk about our recent lives. Both of us knowing that if we talked, then miles would pass faster and the sooner we could get to water.
Water, water, water has become the sole objective everday.
Where is it located?
How reliable is it?
How far off trail is it?
We have learned rather quickly that water is scarce and very unreliable. Especially at this time of the year.
We had planned to take a siesta near a big creek for a big part of the middle of the day to find a very small creek that was hard to get to with no shade.
It was a huge let down for me. Nothing, absolutely nothing can be predictable. We luckily continued on for a short bit and came to a camping area with big trees and shade and a few other hikers. Planner and I felt like we had hardly seen any hikers and were glad to have finally met some. It was nothing like the AT with the abundance of people.
We started back out hiking around 2 and quickly found ourselves exhausted. Bad, bad timing. The sun zaps the energy right out from you and makes hiking almost miserable. Then, right in time as our moods soured, we found ourselves in lower elevation and big trees. Finally some trees!!
It let us cool off and cruise back at 3 miles an hour. We ended up taking a big break at another spigot where we had 6 more miles to go to make it a 26 mile day. (We have the daring idea that we can make it to Warner Springs, 110 miles, by 1:30 Saturday before the post office closes)
We both felt tired and had eaten very little. We found that others also felt this way. In the extreme heat, it was so hard to eat. But we both forced ourselves to eat, drank water, and pumped ourselves back up and headed out by 5:30 pm.
It was the best decision we made all day. Our moods were better, the temperature was nice and cool, and we were able to witness a beautiful sunset.
We even found an amazing tent site around 7:30, just in time to decompress for bed.
Sometimes the struggle really is worth it.
We are learning constantly and have decided to start our mornings right when we wake up at 5 and to take long day breaks instead of hiking since we both know the sun makes our mood unpleasant.
We have both also mutually agreed that it has been so nice to discuss plans together unlike solo hiking the AT. Not that either of us regret doing that. But it’s nice to have someone all the time. To talk about plans, to talk with, to camp with at night, it just makes it all the more enjoyable.
I’m so excited still. I cannot believe how beautiful this trail already is. Most of it is all out in the open which is so unlike the Appalachian Trail.
It really is breath taking.
Iz and Oz