Woke up and laid in my tent until I heard someone else moving then finally dragged myself out of my sleeping bag. The condensation inside my tent was CRAZY and it was a very chilly morning so my hands were like ice when I finally got on trail. I grabbed some water from the creek and headed out on my own.
It got hot quickly as I climbed out of Hauser Canyon, up switchback after switchback. It was incredible to see the trail coming down into the canyon on the other side and see what we all did the night before. There are so far many places where you can see the trail on opposing hillsides, either where you’re going or where you’ve been.
The wildlife is really amazing here in the desert. I won’t bore you with a ton of pictures all at once, but I often feel like I am in a foreign jungle instead of the desert. The lizards are so far the coolest critter but they run too fast to get a picture… for now.
I paused under a bridge for a snack and soon a large group that I started with showed up and soon there were hikers and packs and snacks everywhere. Professor and BigMoney got everyone’s attention and enthusiastically wished us all a happy Cinco de Mayo, producing a bottle of tequila, a lime, queso and chips from their packs. I decided that I was already dehydrated enough so I didn’t partake but it was fun being part of the craziness that is the trail.
I leapfrogged with the same couple from yesterday (Sarah and Andy) and ended up waiting out the midday heat with them under a tree in a campground. This ended up being my only social time all day and hiked alone the entire day. I have found that I am slower than almost everyone that I started soooo I’m just waiting for my people.
This trail will truly tell you how out of shape you are. I feel like I have stop every 500 ft to catch my breath and my feet feel like they are being put through a grinder. I had a blister starting this morning but I put some moleskin on it and it doesn’t seem to have gotten worse.
I passed two different day hikers with dogs and getting to pet them helped me through the afternoon. I was really struggling the last few miles, so I found a spot to stealth camp just before a road at mile 30. I pitched my tent with rocks on top of the stakes since it was starting to get windy. I actually did some yoga (in my ant-free campsite!) and was in bed by 7:30.
Trail magic: 0
Hiked with: no one
Camped with: no one
Lessons learned: Hiking alone isn’t so bad. Seeing dogs is almost like trail magic. Camping alone is actually kind of awesome.