Day 23
Miles: 318 to 335.70

One cool thing about thru hiking is that you constantly see new things. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with in and out hikes because there is not and even though you hike the same trail back, usually differently things catch your attention during each direction and you have the opportunity to see the trail under different light, but thru hike keeps you constantly guessing and excited about what’s after every corner and there is certainly something special about that.

Today there were two big surprises waiting for us. First of them in a form of trail magic at mile 324.5 where a trail angel placed ice chest with water, wine, fruit, and cupcakes. We already had some miles in at that point and the snack hit the spot.

Second surprise was a large lake we came upon. I did not expect to see large body of water in this section of the desert. The shoreline span miles and we walked on a bluff above the lake for several hours. After the dry desert and areas of severe burn, this was a welcome change of scenery.

At the end of the lake there was a picnic area with water spigot and tables and we took advantage of it and had a long lunch there including coffee making which we rarely do in the middle of the day.

We planned to hike another 5 miles to a spot where if we were lucky might have been a creek and small camp site. We found the creek but nowhere to camp so we continued on side hilling for couple miles before the trail spit us on a flatter terrain at the bottom of the hill where we had a choice from multiple sites. 

I don’t think we ever been in camp so early after hiking 17 miles. We set up, chatter with fellow hiker going by the name McGaver and at 6:00 p.m. the chilly wind chased us inside the tent.