Mileage 23.6 (38km)
Tylerhorse Canyon (541.5) to Roadside Camp (565.1)
The strong wind that justified the nearby wind farms had all but disappeared overnight. Our secluded campsite at Tylerhorse Canyon was calm and quiet. The result was a great nights sleep by all. Several of us had been advised that a water cache was well stocked about 8 miles from camp. 8 miles uphill. As a result I left camp with only 1 litre of water which was consumed when I had my second breakfast of coffee and oats while sitting on an exposed hillside overlooking the desolation of the Mojave Desert. It was about 9.30am when I limped into the water cache. It was not only well stocked with water but some apples and chairs to sit down and chillax. I arrived ahead of StoneFoot, Tink and Zig Zig and spent over an hour resting my aching body. There was still some pain in my ankle.
I walked maybe 2 hours from the water cache when I was unable to walk any further. It was almost impossible to put weight on my ankle. The pain was sharp, intense and specific. Right on the already stressed tendons. Luckily another hiker had some high strength anti-inflammatory medication and was gracious enough to allow me to temporarily ease the pain. This point of the hike was a low point for me. Sorry to sound down or negative but I thought I should mention, yet again that this is a tough hike, physically and mentally!
Twenty minutes after being medicated I was able to walk again. I still felt that my ankle was not happy with me but I was able to move. I discussed with my hiking buddies my thoughts. I wanted to make it into a nearby trail town to take some time off to let my body heal itself but that involved several more hours of walking. Despite the fatigue and ankle problems I suggested that we hike as far as I can without making things worse while I’m medicated. Camp as close as we can near a road which I can hitch hike into town. Short term pain for an easier day the next day.
Tink, StoneFoot, Zig Zag and I soldiered on to make camp only 1.5 miles from one of the major highways that link Las Vegas with the West Coast. It was 7pm and the 12 hours of hiking took its toll on all of us. We camped in a field complete with cows and the sounds of nearby Freight Trains.
Despite the pain and frustration I must also report that I am still in good spirits, positive and able to still dish out an equal amount of friendly banter among my hiking colleagues. But I am looking forward to some rest and relaxation in coming days.