May 14th, 2021
Mile marker: 96
Today’s miles hiked: 24
It is so incredibly hard to hike when there has been a lack of sleep. The previous night I decided to sleep without my rain fly to hopefully get enough courage to “cowboy camp”. (This is where we lay out in the open with just a sleeping pad and no tent. It is going to happen, just getting myself more familiar again. 😅) However, it was as we thought, hot. Planner and I both woke up in the middle of the night sweating under our sleeping bags. Needless to say, not the best night of sleep at all, but we both still woke up at 5 and decided to head out.
This morning we had 5 miles to get to water. It’s been a learning process of how much water we need to carry to get us through the day and for the overnight camping. We typically wake up with only a little and hike a few miles to the next source.
We hiked down the mountain and landed at a water cache under a highway bypass. Thankful for a trail angel named Professor who stocks this for us. Literally, water jugs that we have to pour into our bottles because there is no where else to get water unless we headed into town. This saved us a hugeeeee step.
We met a few other hikers huddle around the water as well and have realized that we are catching people who have started before us and passing them. It’s weird for us to leave and then think, “Oh, we will probably never see them again.” But this time, both of us are just more Trail focused.
We then hiked 14 miles to get us to our next water cache. The terrain was easy and we flew for a majority of the day but blisters are becoming an issue.
Both planner and I didn’t struggle too much with blisters with our shoes back home but we are attributing it to our dirty socks here. The amount of sand and dirt that collects in our socks and feet is crazy. We are also unable to wash them because there is no creek and most water needs to be saved for drinking. So far we have been popping them, cleaning them, and putting athletic tape on them. It’ll do for now.
The terrain also changed after passing under the highway. We now see way more cacti and have more of that “desert” feel.
Some parts of the trail there are cacti poking out and if you are unlucky like yours truly, you also swing your hand back and jam it straight into a cactus. My first reaction as I turned around to planner with thorns poking out was “Is this going to kill me!?” as my hypochondriac self was taking over.
Planner and I are still hiking throughout the whole day together and have found a smooth way to sail. We don’t always talk, but some times we do for a while and then sometimes we are quiet but with the different schedule, we both agree that we like being together regardless. Especially when we take little breaks in the shade.
Today we got to our siesta early and found a lucky shady spot to set up for 3-4 hours. It was exactly what we had been waiting for. A nice, shady, flat spot for a full siesta session. I found myself a little grumpy at my blisters but once I rested and ate food and rehydrated I could feel myself being restored.
We then hiked down to another water cache. Here is finally some pictures of these caches. (I’ve been trying to remember to take more pictures and have found myself falling short!)
After we loaded up we set out for a final 5 miles that was relatively easy with the cooling wind and sunset. For the first time since we started this trail, we are camping next to other people tonight. It has been strange but every night Planner and I have hiked to a certain spot and found ourselves alone.
We don’t mind this though, we enjoy siesting and camping alone. It allows more freedom in a way. But it’s also nice to know others are around. Ya know, just in case.
Today was the first day that it really felt like everything went “semi” normal. And where we could enjoy most of the day.
Planner is now laying next to me trying to cowboy camp for the first time.
I hope she doesn’t get eaten by scorpions or rattlesnakes. Fingers crossed.
Iz and Oz