29th April 2015
High camp (187.6) to Ziggy and the Bears (210.9)
I was up, packed and hiking before anybody else got out of bed. It was before 6am and the sun was thinking about making its presence known. It was going to be a big, hot day and I wanted to get a fair bit of it done before it got too hot. I also had an 8300 feet descent to the desert floor. After just over an hour I stopped at a large campsite with a picnic table and had breakfast. Over the coming hours I descended further and the temperature climbed. I constantly found myself looking up at the high mountain that I was descending from. Before the main heat of the day I was exposed to maybe 5-6 different species of lizards and a cheeky snake. I almost stood on the snake that seemed to be waiting until the last moment before it would move right where my next footstep was going. It scared the crap out of me. It then took off downhill leaving me to deal with the resulting adrenaline dump. Not 2 minutes later I swear the same snake did it again after the trail turned round on a switchback. I’m not sure what species of snake it was but it was dark with a prominent yellow stripe down the side.
By 1pm I ran out of water. I had 3 miles to make it to the next water and not only was it hot but there was little shade. I felt ok when I did get too the water so cooked up a large pasta for lunch but lack of shade sent me back hiking shortly after. I’m doing well in the heat. Much better than most. But I suffer in the cold so my time in the sun is limited. Today and the next couple of days have highs around 38 Celsius (100F). Bring it on.
By mid afternoon I made it to trail Angels, Ziggy and the Bear. They live next to the trail near the interstate highway and open their house to all us dirty, smelly hikers. One of the hikers ‘raingear’ had an idea to get a taxi to go to the nearby town of Cabazon to pick up some ‘in and out’ burgers. I was told they were the gold standard of burger fast food outlets. He was right.
Oh and I passed the 200 mile marker today. Very pleased with myself.