6/6/17 – Hot, Dry, and Rather Miserable Traverse

Day 44
Miles: 604.43 to 624

The morning was cold. Not just cool but actually cold enough to warrant hiking in puffy jacket and gloves, and it felt amazingly refreshing.

The cold morning was most enjoyable

We knew we would loose the forest today and so we enjoyed every step of it. Few miles, mostly downhill took us to another bubbling brook where our friends Sunkist, Unicorn, and Maricruz who now earned a trail name Monarch were camping. We passed them just as they were to leave their site so we knew we would see them soon again.

Transition between forest and the desert

Eventually we walked out of the forest. Luckily the transition was not completely abrupt and at least for the next few miles we were surrounded by smaller bushes and trees. 

Blooms brightening the desert landscape

At 10:30 we arrived at a large water cache. It was restocked yesterday, we knew from several sources, yet the 100 gallons were nearly depleted. 

At 11:40 it was time to move again. The trail dropped us a bit and then started climbing again, climb we dreaded since the morning because we knew it would be exposed and extremely hot. It helped to have some breeze but it was few and far between and the sun was just above our heads.

The only shade was under some of these

We found a short refuge behind a larger tree, one of the very few around where we had a lunch and later we joined Grey Ghost and Daybreak, friends we haven’t seen for quite a while until we bumped into them yesterday, under another larger Joshua Tree where we enjoyed couple of hours of siesta.

Exposed terrain of Mojave

The evening took us couple more miles down the dry trail to a nice site where we could see the moon rising above the desert landscape.

1000 kilometer mark. We really walked that

Tomorrow will be a very hard day. We have 20 miles, many of them uphill before we reach water. Unless we are lucky and there is another water cache along the way. Let’s hope we find a water cache. 🙂

Evening beauty