This morning there were two treats: a sleep in till 6 am, and pancakes and coffee for breakfast. I (meg) indulged in one, the sleep in but not the other. I am very much enjoying my morning oats with flaxmeal and raisins. I’m actually a little worried I may run out this leg.
We were driven to the trail head by Little Steps and unceremoniously left off were we had begun the day before. Perk, a hiker we have met previously is walking with us and it’s nice to have some fresh blood…..
The trail gained elevation steadily away from Green Valley, and it is easy to understand why it has been given this name. Hikers marched like ants up the trail beaconing the uphill grind that was to come. Eventually the trail reached the crest of the hill and meandered down into a new valley. We had decided to meet up at 5 miles in, which we did. We sunscreened and decided to walk another 5 to a small cave for our morning break. Everyone was feeling good and the track was nice going. Unfortunatly as we headed deeper into the valley we entered a burn area. It exposed the trail as it again wove its way up another set of hills. Exposed and hot in the morning sun we passed two small caves and finally arrived at the cave marked on our Guthooks App. It was very small and there was no shade. We pushed our bodies into some shrub and ate our snacks. Perk is carrying hard boiled eggs and he have one to Harriet. Phoebe didn’t stop and continued on ahead to another shadier spot.
After our break the trail continued to climb and again it crested the hills. Thankfully the burn disappeared and we were returned to lovely old oaks and birch with green lush grass lining the sides of the trail. We now also had a clear view of the Mojave desert floor below.
Yet, as we have learnt nothing stays the same on this trail and we were once again exposed to the hot sun during the midday. This time however it was due to natural causes. Sandy soil and low chapparrell replaced the wooded hillsides. Sometimes the switchbacks would lead us into a small oasis of trees and shade. Around 1.30 we stopped on the trail in one of these shady havens for some lunch. It was quite comfortable and we lounged until 3 when I got itchy feet and we set off for tonight’s camp. I set out with Perk and Dave at a cracking pace, and then had to stop for the toilet so found myself in the middle of the two walking parties. I put in my headphones and enjoyed the time heading toward camp. The trail headed back into lovely wooded hillsides. This time more green and romantic than before. The trail was lined with a native lettuce you can eat. Along the way I passed Perk who had stopped to take a call. We could still see all the way down into the desert and beyond. Eventually the trail heads off down toward the desert but we doglegged and heard steeply up to our camp. I found Dave wandering around looking for a spot at Sawmill Camp. We choose one with a view and then went. We sat on a huge tree stump And waited for the others to arrive. Once tents had been erected we walked the gruelling 1 km up to the water source. I strange underground bath covered with a tin shed. There was a Gatorade bottle on a stick which allowed you to fish water out from it. We filtered water and headed back to camp. A fire has been lit, dinner has been eaten. Tonight was cous cous and it was yummy. The sun is setting beautifully in the distance and we have a new bunch of hikers camping with us who we will spend tomorrow hiking to Hiker Town with. The Mojave awaits.