5/28/17 – Hot Hot and Hotter
Miles: 477 to 493.4
When the forecast suggests a hot day, we like to set our alarm early and hike most of our daily miles while it’s still cool outside. Today; however, our day started at Casa de Luna and before we finished our coffee and delicious pancakes generously drowned in syrup, it was already too late to play beat the sun.
We were at least couple of hours behind schedule when we started hiking at 8:00 a.m. and it showed.
The heat hit us after the first uphill, luckily there was little bit of shade on the other side of the mountain that delayed our suffering a bit but after we descended, the sun got us.
Our next climb was longer, steep once in a while but not horribly, and if it wasn’t for the sun baking us, it would actually be rather enjoyable. The views were awesome, though the view we experienced most was one of the dirt in front of our feet.
Halfway up the slope we walked upon an unexpected spring. The cold water felt awesome and after I dunked my shirt, I enjoyed about a mile without overheating. Than my short dried and I was left to the sweat fest.
The terrain was exposed when we walked through another burn, and here the trail brought back the aroma of Poodle Dog Bush. Luckily it wasn’t as frequent as the last time when we saw the buggers and it grew further away from the trail.
The day became progressively hotter and hotter and the frequency of our breaks increased. Last one we took mere mile and half from the turn off to Upper Shake Campground which is abandoned but for hikers serves perfectly fine.
I wished the camp was not in a valley some 500 feet bellow the trail, I’m sure every one of us who camped here would curse the morning climb but it was a side trip demanded by water availability and once we settled in and chores were done, it was actually quite a nice place for a little bit of chilling…. until the bugs started biting.