Another warm night, another perfect cowboy camping opportunity missed. I really have to try it out, mainly because I want to see the stars all night. Many more people had set up camp in the night, and Papa Rich told us that just after we left camp at 6 a heap of people night hiking rolled in, that’s hardcore.
Our path all day clung to the side of the hills, we dodged Poodle Dog bush and steep drop offs. None of us got the itch but there was a few close calls when it was hiding amongst thick shrubs.
We had breakfast 5kms in with an excellent view in both directions. The pine trees have been drastically thinning and we are left with only chaparral, heat and sand below. We skipped coffee as we are nearly out of gas, and ate the last of our oatmeal and bars. Meg chatted with her friends while we ate and her questions about eye makeup sparkles seemed so out of place in such dirty stinky company. We have dry camped (no water at camp) the last 2 nights and it’s really helping our pong.
The heat was playing strange tricks with us, it seemed to be blown in small thick clouds up from the desert floor, which you walked into quite suddenly. We are in the middle of a 27 mile waterless stretch and luckily for us the north fork rangers station leave out a heap of office style water, excellent for exchanging trail gossip. We met Cooper there and did just that.
Our descent to the desert floor seemed to take forever after our break. I (Quiz) listened to podcasts on low volume so as to keep an ear out for rattlers, but only saw one racer and 50 million lizards. Meg literally ran down the mountain, maybe the desert heat is making her mad, or she is relishing her rock hard hiking thighs.
At the bottom we made the short side trip to the Acton KOA. Our plan this morning was to make it all the way to highway 15 where Takikas mum Dawn would pick us up and take us to Hiker Haven for dinner. Word at the KOA campground was that Hiker Haven was full up (50 people) due to the glut of people after the bad weather a week ago, so we called Tamika and agreed to meet at the KOA instead. That meant that we are on holiday from our holiday starting now as we are spending Saturday and Sunday in Huntington Beach with Camel/Dave!!! Well that changed our vibe as we lay on the cool shady grass. We all got cold drinks and lazily ate chips while we contemplated washing, mainly so as we could hop in the pool. While doing all our chores followed by pool hangs (us and the kids) Dave hitched into town and returned with beer and pizza (🙏 Dave). We had a hiker party and just as it was dying down Tamika Dawn and Gillian arrived. I brought some happy birthday bunting (it is Gillian’s bday today and Dawns recently) and Pinecone drew them a card. They brought chicken and salad and chips and salsa and beer and we ate all the food!!! It was a fun evening and I hope Tamika doesn’t walk too quickly so as we can catch her. OMG holidays are so good!