Another excellent sleep meant that I (Quiz) was in a wayyyy better mood today! Phew as the trail gives you plenty of time to think and yesterday I could not get over being last, all the time. I was taking every reference to my slowness personally and it was mentally really challenging. But today I have been a happy camper and as such had a happy happy day (thankfully I didn’t have the write the blog yesterday)!
We got up early, as usual, and walked for what felt like forever. We climbed a surprise hill and half way up hit the 500 MILE MARKER!!! Holy fuck, we are monsters! And we only have a monsterous 2160 miles to go! In Australia talk we have walked over 800kms, it’s a long way. We sat and had breakfast and coffee to celebrate/survive and our new friend Perk (short for percolater) gave us real aeropress coffee and now we can’t drink our instant.
Our climb ended in a magical forest, high above the desert, full of filtered green light, leafy trees, grassy meadows and constant bird songs. So beautiful! Especially in contrast to the d-floor below, the badlands, the flat hot planes, hot as hell. We made it 12 miles to the edge of the trees by 10.30, and had our longest break of the day, not wanting to leave. We have been walking with Mikalea for the last 2 days and she is a cool lady but sadly about to skip north, so we said our goodbyes.
The rest of the day was hot and blury and we walked 8 miles with one very short break and no lunch as shade was in very short supply. We weaved along the side of the hills on the edge of the desert floor, they reminded us of big sand dunes. The chaparral is back! Harry tripped on a stump and was unscathed but walked for ages with a charcoal mustachios.
We were very glad to reach hiker town on the desert floor. It’s a weird place full of portables dresses up like houses from a western. It’s super friendly, has bucket clothes washes and a very scenic outdoor shower, cold water feels great in the hot sun. Plus we were filthy! The local shop owner gave us all a lift to his shop and we ate burgers and deep fried mac n cheese lumps (only in America right!). Layers is worried about the heat tomorrow as we are heading into the Mojave desert, but we have a plan and are leaving at 3am. I’m excited to see Joshua trees on mass. Xxxxxxxxxx Quiz