Day 47 – Rocky Outcrop to Mt Skinner Tentsite- 35km

Today was awesome!! We had finished the day before with great views of desert mountains and 5:30am this morning we optimistically descended into the valley. At breakfast 4 miles down the road we hit the first cash. A sobo hiker the day before had informed us that both had ‘hundreds of gallons’ however when we got there, there were only two gallons left. We were alright but felt sorry for the hiker behind us. Jamie, a guy hiking with us wants to do a 30 mile day so we say goodbye to him and walk on, the six of us. 
Today was undulating and exposed with amazing views north to snowy mountains and south to the Mojave and Mt Baldy. We walked across desert mountains, it was sandy, which made for some slow, frustrating walking, but the grade was so gentle and gratifying that it didn’t bother us too much. We realised, now back in he desert, that we were still just north of the Mojave, with views south to Mt Baldy and Mt Baden Powell. It’s strange to see these mountains so close again, 60 miles as the crow flies. The PCT has taken us on such a round about journey. But il glad we didn’t walk across 60 miles of straight desert. 

Desert floor toward the Mojave

Above: interesting desert flora and fauna

We had lunch under a giant tangled Joshua Tree and rested for a couple of hours. In the afternoon we climbed our second last incline, the sand reaching its worst. We got views down desert valleys and crossed many motor bike paths. On the way down we reach the second water cash for the day. There is way more stored at this one and we all have lots to drink and one last break before the final climb. At this stage we have already walked 31km but the day has been so nice we hardly notice it in our bodies. 

Water cash is well stocked at mile 631 but situated in a wind tunnel. 

The wind has picked up considerably and we decide to climb the next steep incline and camp on top of the ridge. It’s a fair slog but the switch backs get us there and 600m in elevation later we have wonderful views of the high Sierra. I can’t explain how amazing it feels to see this view after all this desert walking all the way from Mexico. 

View south from our climb

Our tentsite is slightly exposed and precarious. We all cowboy camp, all six of us in one big long cute line and tell jokes and eat lots of food! Fun times! 

View north toward the High Sierra. 

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