Last night my feet ached a bit all night. The past nights, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I would wiggle my toes and stretch my calves, ankles, and feet and all would feel great. Last night they kind of still ached. However, when we started hiking I felt fine.
Oh yeah...I took a picture of our campsite this morning since I forgot last night.
Oh, there were also these cool flowers around the tent that opened up as the sun was hitting them. It's pretty amazing that these beautiful flowers are out here among the rugged desert landscape.
Anyway, the hike today started easy with the trail meandering through the desert. We actually saw some more barrel cactus today. I don't know why, but I think they are pretty cool.
Today, since we were walking across the desert, the day was all about water and knowing when the next water source is. We left camp knowing there was water only 2.5 miles away, so we only carried 1 liter each. We got to the source and this is what it looked like:
It looked like a concrete grave in the middle of the desert, but under that domes cement is water. There was a hand pump, but it didn't seem to work, so we had to improvise.
Later in the day we came across a water cache that was much easier to deal with.
After leaving the Hiker's Oasis it was time for lunch, so we headed up the trail about 1 mile to what was described as a large boulder field hoping to find some shade. We found just what we were looking for and ate and hung in the shade for over an hour.
After lunch we were treated to a new valley to look down on.
Then, a surprise...
There is nothing in the notes about this water cache. So we went to check it out.
There was a picnic table, garbage pails, water, and a hiker box filled with first aid, food, information on the next few miles of the trail, and the best part...postcards we can fill out and trail angels (again anonymous) would mail for you. So we dumped some garbage, grabed a bit more water, and filled out a postcard.
We couldn't stay here long because there was no plan on where we would be camping tonight. The maps and guide showed no campsites for the next 10 miles and we only planned on going 4 more. So off we went in search of a flat place.
We did find a couple, but they were in the area of medicinal marajana farms. Yes, you read that right. I guess this is something Anza, CA is now known for. Here is a picture of one. The marajana is grown in that white greenhouse looking structure on the left. I guess the guard lives in the RV?
Needless to say, we were a bit nervous being that close to marajana, so onward we walked. And walked. And walked. OK...we were now done and couldn't find a place, then we went around a bend and walked down the trail and there was a flattish spot. After some landscaping on Tim's part we now have a campsite.
Yes, that is the trail a mere inches from our tent, but it seems pretty level and nice inside. Another hiker (Rob) came by and is actually sleeping right beside us. And, right when we got in our tent another hiker was going by. It was Rocket Llama. She is a bit famous for almost losing her life last year in her attempt to complete the trail. Like Papa Bear who I told you about a week ago or so, she was caught in the early snowstorm in Washington last year and had to quit with only 400 miles to go. Now she is at it again. Hopefully we will meet her face-to-face tomorrow. She has quite a story to tell about getting lost in the snow storm and pretty much preparing not to make it out. For more info check out her blog entries from last year: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=436497.
Good-night for now. Tomorrow we will make it to the Paradise Cafe for what should be a wonderful lunch.