So, Cameron is here now. He joined us in Warner Springs and now there are three of us. Our first day on trail we did an 18 mile day to Mike Hererra’s Place, which I am so glad we didn’t pass up. It was a hot day, involving a pretty massive climb, probably one of the more instense climbs we have done. We kept pushing though because we had heard rumors of burgers, until we were around a mile out from the house and I got so hungry I thought I was going to faint, so I made everyone stop for a snack break. When we did get to Mike’s, sure enough there were burgers on the grill. They were delicious. There were around eight other hikers hanging out on some stumps under a shade tent so we joined them with our burgers and our root beers and had a hell of a time. We decided to stay the night because there were murmurs about spaghetti. Everyone else left and it was looking like Kyle and Cameron and I were going to have a lot of spaghetti to eat but luckily more hikers rolled in around dinner time so we had some company. One guy was so amazed that Cameron and Kyle aren’t related to eachother he insisted on taking a picture of the three of us. That wasn’t the first time it had been brought up and it won’t be the last. We all slept very well last night, drained after a long day in the sun.
Today we got up early and headed out, gunning for the first water source ten miles out. We did stop for a sunrise breakfast, made hilarious by Cameron’s new found hatred of oatmeal. Not only did he have too much oatmeal but, as he battled with is last bite, his spork broke into two pieces. It was only a matter of time but the timing added insult to injury and there was a lot of swearing. It didn’t help that Kyle and I had enjoyed a fabulous chillequiles breakfast.
Today was hot, hopefully the hottest day of the week, but without service there is no way for us to know. When we got to the ten mile water source Trail Angel Tom was there replenishing the water cache. We nearly jumped for joy. It was lovely to have a chat with him and see so much fresh drinkable water. However, after we left the cache time screeched to a grinding halt. Something I have discovered about the desert is that as the day heats up the time slows down. At one point I felt certain we had gone at least two miles, it felt like it had been an hour, but when I checked we hadn’t even covered a mile of ground. More swearing and hiding under pathetic bushes to eek out some shade. Then we would push on for another mile or so before we would repeat the whole process. The only thing to break up the time was grow house sightings, you know, the houses where they grow weed? Trail Angel Tom had told us that there were plenty of them scattered around the trail and to be careful, the cartels were not friendly to hikers. Every time we saw one I would want to say something but then I would bite my tongue for fear of hidden microphones… Are we on a movie set and how much of what we are being told is true?
Finally we could see some houses that looked like they might belong to Trail Angel Mary. I was starting to feel like a character out of a movie, who is stranded in the desert and grasping for water as they crawl on hands and knees towards a glimmering oasis. Also my feel felt like they were going to break in half. Maybe it is the miles or my shoes or the heat or something else, but the pain in my feet is terrible. They start hurting before mile ten and they continue to be in pain for the rest of the day. Sometimes I can’t figure out what I should be focused on, the pain in my feet or the oppressive heat. Sometimes I distract myself by trying to remember every scene from the movie Frida, including exactly how Selma Hayak says her lines. That helped somewhat today.
Finally we stumbled into Mary’s water cache where many people from our current hiker bubble were already waiting. Our plan is to stay here and cook dinner and then venture another three and a half miles to camp. You’ll hear more from us tomorrow if we survive the 24 mile day we have planned.