Day 40: Back to the Desert

We awoke in our tents surrounded by moisture and thankful we didn’t decide to cowboy camp like our hiker neighbors at the spring area did. They were pretty wet by morning had to spend time throughout the day drying out their gear.

We set off in the morning carrying just 2 liters of water in order to get to the next water spot, which was less than 7 miles away. When we arrived at the next spring we were quite happy to see that it was piped and flowing crystal clear water at an incredible rate. It took just 20 seconds or so to fill up a 2 liter bag! This was the most productive spring we have seen on the trail in a long while. We still filtered the water even though it looked safe as we had heard reports from last year of people falling ill after this stretch and there was still a lot of ‘signs’ of cattle activity around. While we were filling our bags and bottles of water a forest service worker drove by and offered to take our garbage from us. We gladly accepted and lightened ourselves up by offloading 2.5 days worth of trail trash.

After leaving the spring we were potentially heading into a stretch of 42 miles with no water, unless there is a water cache somewhere. We had heard of a water cache at mile 631 which would break the section nearly in half but we’ve also heard it’s not regularly maintained and shouldn’t be counted on…great. We also were leaving the lush greenery of the mountain springs we had slept by te last two nights and found ourselves back in the high desert. We wound our way along chaparral covered ridges and on sandy trail for he rest of the day. I imagine it will be like this for a while, at least until Walker Pass.

Due to the length of this dry stretch we wanted to get out as far as we could and try to cut it into 2 long days if we could. We were feeling good all day and ended up with a tally of 23.5 miles by day’s end, and that also included a pretty healthy lunch break and a nap to wait out the heat of the day. That leaves us with just under 26 miles to reach the Walker Pass Campground tomorrow night. If there is no cache beforehand that is our next water source, 42 miles from the last spring we filled up at earlier today. As you can see we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow so I am off to dreamland.

Godspeed.

P.S. Cell service allowing, the day this will post (May 11) is my anniversary with my wonderful, supportive, loving and all around amazing wife, Marissa. I miss you every second of every day and am forever grateful that you’ve given me this opportunity. I love you infinity!

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