We awoke to our first warm morning in the desert. Aware that we had a hot waterless 9 mile section ahead of us, we left early from camp. Following a jeep track briefly, our ascent quickly took us above the hills of our earlier camp site. A pleasant walk along the ridges led to beautiful views of the surrounding valleys. Just before we topped up at the next water stop, Nathan once again encountered a snake. Due to the scarcity of water, several hikers and trail angels had conglomerated around the water trough, including half slow, who we had met just outside Lake Morena at Boulder Oaks, and Milar, a section hiker with a helium ballon on his pack. Loaded up with water we started the nine mile descent into the valley, ranging across the sides of the hills. The temperature picked up with every hour, reaching 45 degrees Celsius at the bottom of the valley according to my new thermometer. This was also true desert, with a variety of colorful wildflowers in every major color, and a profusion of interesting cacti. Reaching the road to Julian, we quickly found the underpass at Scissors. Being the only shade around for miles and conviently stocked with water by trail angels, there was once again a herd of hikers. Everyone had decided to wait out the heat of the day before climbing into the hills just above our shelter. Cooking dinner and hydrating were the main priorities, but we also met another thru-hiker named B Back, who was an ex cop and had some interesting stories to tell. Leaving just past five we walked a couple more miles into the hills, before setting up camp site in a small valley looking to the east to catch the morning desert sunrise.
Miles hiked – 16
Liters of water drank – 8 x 3