Days 38-40

Day 38 – June 10

After camping next to the first water cache of the dry section, we made our way to the second cache. Here we took a long break, eating and napping. There were some bushes with gallon jugs of water, a small distance away from the main cache.  One of our crew went to investigate and found a half bottle of scotch and a couple beers. About 8 of us split the beers and took a swig of the scotch.

Side note here: when hikers meet, we bump fists instead of shaking hands, so as to not pass on sickness. Yet we will gladly swig out of a bottle that obviously many other hikers have drank out of and we leave the remains for others? Logic here is failing me

After the long nap, we started another grueling climb. It was hot and another extremely windy afternoon. On top of that, the trail was deep, soft sand. So many times on the trail I have thought “why didn’t I walk on the coast more for training?” I was so slow, doing what felt like 2 miles an hour. It was so exhausting, but I laughed at the insanity of it all. Another day of putting on my game face and powering up this climb.

Day 39

Today began a little chilly. However, the trail was fairly easy and Jupiter and I zoomed along the 5 miles to McIver’s Cabin. Here we met up with Silver Fox and the Bear Can-Cans for second breakfast and to filter water.

After this, we had 8 miles to get to Walker’s Pass. We knew that Copertone was going to be at this road intersection, but weren’t sure if he had arrived or not. This was going to be his last stop for trail angeling this year. I put in my headphones and pushed hard to the road. When I got there and stopped, I noticed how bad my shin was hurting and limped down to the reststop.

Copertone was not there, but another trail angel had left a ton of bakery items. I believe they worked at the bakery and had brought everything that was expiring soon for hikers. We ate some bagels and peanut butter sandwiches. There was so much bread that Mr Bear Can-Can took an entire loaf, as he was running out of food quickly.

After the road, we had another climb. My shin was still painful after the break and I limped behind everyone to our campsite. I cant wait to get my new shoes, my feet hurt so much.

Day 40

Most of the family camped at Joshua Tree Camp. We slept in and slowly broke camp, making coffee and breakfast. The climb for today wasn’t as steep as we thought and it was colder, so the miles flew by.

About the middle of the day we all broke apart. We hadn’t seen the Bear Can-Cans in awhile, so Jupiter took a nap to wait for them. Yeti, Flame and San decided to push forward and I followed behind. Originally, I was going to limp along a few miles on my sore shin. When I got to a dirt road, I was ready to keep going and camp further up.

About mile 25 for the day I caught up with everyone. This was my original goal to make camp. Everyone else wanted to go a few more miles and I didn’t feel like camping alone, as we passed by fresh poop on the trail and I wasn’t ready to find out what it belonged to.

Yeti and I were planning on finding a place away from the mail campsite, 5 miles away, as it was likely packed. However, as I limped along the ridge, there was nowhere to stop. “Guess I’m committed to a 30 mile day,” I told myself. Coming down the ridge to the camp, I heard shouting. When I got there, a group pointed out a bear about 20 feet off trail. The bear came right up to a guys tent and stole his food bag. It didn’t care that we were making noise or how close we were.

After contemplating, we all decided to hike another mile to make camp, as the bear was not going to leave. Luckily we found a flat spot for our tents. I’m so sore! Can’t wait for my new shoes tomorrow at Kennedy Meadows!