After yesterday’s draining day, we decided the appeal of McDonald’s 21 miles away was too great, and took up the challenge. Packing our tent, we were immediately in sunshine on the trail, and knew it was going to be another scorcher. Winding down off the hill we passed another massive dam, this time actually holding some water in. With a short section along the road, we then had a short, sharp climb over a hill, where we were presented with a large expansive lake. Salivating at the site, the trail headed around the western edge, with the only people to be seen were fisherman in boats. Coming down just above a holiday park, we sat down by our next water source, where a park ranger immediately pulled up. Somewhat surprised and with me looking around to see what I had done wrong, she hopped out of her car and offered us a bag of carrot sticks. SWC also joined us once again from the nearby campsite, before hiking on. Moving with fresh snacks, we began a long, hot climb out of the catchment valley. Reaching the top we saw our descent back into another desert landscape. Stopping for water at 12, we decided to hike another 3 miles where we thought there was more water. Just over an hour later we reached our dry water source. Somewhat surprised and only carrying half a liter for each of us, we had a quick snack, before heading for our next crucial water source. Five grueling miles in high desert temperatures had Sole Catcher and myself struggling, whereas Rattles was practically bouncing along. Coming down the last mile, we stumbled over the steam and fell into the nearest patch of shade. After coming out of various fetal positions we started to rehydrate. Lying in the cool sand for an hour, we decided we could slowly stumble to McDonalds where Sole Catcher was eying up his chicken nuggets. Reaching the turnoff we passed Geoff, who we first met at Ziggy and the Bear, going the other way and had spent the heat of the day inside McDonald’s. Quickly ordering burgers, drinks, ice cream, and fries, we slowly came back to life. With all of us shattered after two long days in the desert lacking sufficient water, we decided the Best Western just up the road was the perfect solution. After washing a vast amount of dirt off and drinking at least 5 liters each in a couple of hours we were slightly more human. We also spotted on the news that Southern California had been experiencing record temperatures, above 40 degrees Celsius. This somewhat mollified us to our current state.
Miles hiked – 22