Day 38: A Cold Desert

We got a chance to sleep in this morning since the owner of the Best Western in Mojave who was giving us a ride back to the trail wouldn’t be in until 9 am. You should know that most mornings we wake up around 6 or 6:30 and are out of camp in about an hour. You should also know that by “sleep in” I mean I personally made it to about 6:45 am.

We headed down to the breakfast room the hotel offered to find quite a spread. They had just about anything you could want for breakfast both hot and cold. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat so for first breakfast I had scrambled eggs, bacon and a full sized waffle (they provided fresh waffle batter and a waffle iron to make your own, couldn’t pass it up). Now, as any good hobbit on a long journey will tell you second breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s why I went back and I had two biscuits with sausage country gravy. I also accompanied all of this with 2 cups of orange juice and a cup of hot black tea. I would have made a killer hobbit.

After breakfast we killed the remaining wait time in our room and then met te owner out front with our bags for him to take us to the trail. We also wanted to hit the Stater Brothers (the only grocery store in Mojave as far as we could find) to grab some last minute tortillas and sunscreen for me and crackers for Pie. We also wanted to get some insurance fuel canisters but couldn’t find any place in town that had the kind we needed. All the stores just carry the Coleman brand that don’t work with any other stoves but Coleman stoves. I think I have enough fuel to make it to Kennedy Meadows but it’s going to be close and if I don’t I am not looking forward to cold oatmeal at the end of next week. Regardless of that potential future crisis, it was extremely generous of the owner, Bobby, to not only drive us back to the trail but to also swing by the store so we could get those last minute items. We couldn’t recommend him and his Best Western more to any future hikers considering Mojave as a resupply spot.

After Bobby dropped us at the trail we ran back across the overpass to touch the spot we left off at the day before, cause we are weird (totally Pie’s idea, he is way weirder than me as we all know). Then we strapped on our packs and proceeded to hike our 17 miles which included a roughly 2500 foot elevation climb. Typically, this stretch can be quite hot for hikers but we happened to be passing through just after a small storm that brought rain into Mojave the night before and snot into the hillsides. So actually, we spent the majority of the day in our jackets and gloves as the weather was still pretty gray, windy and cold once we got back to some elevation.

We decided to go 17 miles for the day because that was the next water source. We reached Golden Oaks Spring around 5:30pm and found a place to camp just about the spring to the side of an unpaved road. This had clearly been a campsite before as someone had taken the time to put together a fire ring. We were soon joined by some fellow hikers: Iron Chef, Ryman, and Eli. Turned out that Eli is actually from Redding, CA (my hometown), small world. He graduated high school in 2012 so we didn’t have too many people in common but we got a chance to talk about the old town with someone who knew the ins and outs as well, a rarity for displaced Reddingites. Once everyone had set up their tents and eaten their meals Pie had a fire going in the fire ring so we all gathered around there and had a chance to shoot the shit for a while before it became too cold for the fire to do any good and we were all driven to our sleeping bags. Today was a good day of hiking and a good camp with friendly conversation, a hiker can’t ask for much more than that.

Godspeed.

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