Today was an amazing journey. We rose at 4:30am after a sheltered night and walked 5km down the mountain and across the desert floor using head lamps for light. Walking at dawn is beautiful and freezing, we heard owls hooting and the smell of wet grass is over powering. We stop for a short time under a bridge called Scissors Crossing where water has been left for hikers to use along with some oranges and Keith from the army veterans group makes us a strong cup of coffee – and we think about taking a swig of taquila left for hikers passing by.
We are all apprehensive about our next clime, 22kms and no water. As the sun rose into the valley we rose off the desert floor and through some truely amazing flora. The cacti in this particular area completely transported me and lifted my spirits. All in bloom the tall spinderly plants seem to sway and defy gravity resembling coral and giving it an under-water like feeling.
I (Harriet) have recently been given the trail name Pine Cone (because of picking up giant pinecones near Mt Laguna with my long nail extensions) this kept me feeling positive and entertained whilst also having some rather amusing pseudo-hippie thoughts like;
Who are we animals? We are not bound to earth like plants, unlike soil we are animate, unlike water we are contained . . .
I’m sure this will seem pretty lame in about 2 seconds.
We push on until 1:30 when we feeling well and truely footsore and the sun is burning us off the path. We stop in some chaparelle and essemble the tent fly for some shade. We eat lunch and rejoice in the fact that we have already walked 29km and most of it uphill!
We rest and read and lie around until we set off again and reach the second water dispatch. We are limited to 3 litres each which seems so little in the heat of the afternoon. After chatting to fellow hikers about the abundance of snow in the High Sierra we push on to the very top of the range and set up camp for the night! I’m so proud for our resilience and endurance today! Our bodies are amazing!