Mileage 13.7 (22km)
Walker Pass (651.4) to 25% Camp (665.1)
The promise of fresh coffee and French toast roused me from my slumber. Sleep did not come easy last night, a few too many caffeinated drinks prior to bedtime, I think. The breakfast and company was much appreciated. My body was a bit worn down from the long hike yesterday and I found the perfect excuse to not walk so many miles today. I found cell phone reception, possibly the last for a long time. I posted on Instagram and updated my blog with a couple of days of posts. I must say thank you to everyone who sends me messages of support. I am very appreciative.
It was around 11am when I finally set foot on the trail. Little shade, little wind and another long climb ahead. I was in no rush today so stopped at a rare shady spot to cook up a carb loaded pasta. I had a bit more food than is needed till my next resupply as I’m about a day ahead of where I thought I would be. I also didn’t expect my ankle to be able to handle such long days. The pasta lunch made me sleepy, I refused to argue and obliged my bodies needs. A fly buzzing in my ear woke me. I’m not sure how long I was asleep. 1 minute, 1 hour? I’m not sure but I was refreshed. I leap frogged 2 other hikers I met in recent days, Teflon and Smokie. I also heard my old hiking buddy Zig Zag was in the area, but nobody knew if he was ahead or behind me. I chose not to fill my water bottle at the uranium tainted Joshua Tree Springs. Instead I would conserve the couple of litres I had and fill up early the next morning at the next water source.
I passed 2 milestones today. Firstly, I crossed the invisible line that tells me I have 2000 miles to go, yay. Secondly, and more impressive is the fact I have now covered 25% or 1/4 of the trail. I camped alone on a small flat ridge just 30 seconds walk away from the 25% marker with a stunning view of the valley I had just descended. As the sun set I could see headlamps in several locations spread out of several miles of trail. Although I camped alone, I was not alone out here. (Oh, by the way, I found a small exposed ridge top with cell reception. I didn’t expect that!)