After a short best restful sleep at the Saufley’s, we decided to steal into the night to get a jump on the sun. Waking at 4, we were out before 5, setting off some of the dogs down the street. Before we left Nathan had weighed himself and noted a loss of 6.5 kg in four weeks. Within half an hour it was light enough to see without a head torch, and we swung onto the road headed north. Once again not the most appetizing section, we did have one gentlemen leaving to go to work wish us a good trip; that was a nice bright spot. Crossing a busy road, we nipped over a small hill and into a valley. With the sun just coming up it flooded the desert with a pale light. Appreciating the cool and flat trail, we soon crossed over and started the first solid climb. Contours and switchbacks led us up to the top of the ridge, where we had expansive views of the valley below. Dropping down to the north, another valley greeted us, which we knew we would have to cross. With sandy soil making the trail a breeze, we cursed our heavy packs as the only detriment to the morning hike. Hitting the road at the bottom, Sole Catcher ran into some hikers who had walked in the night before. They were quite surprised at our quick progress so far. Having covered some excellent miles by ten, we took a leisurely break, where I was actually shivering in the shade. Deciding to aim at the water cache for lunch, we took off up the next set of hills to crest the top. The climb was rewarded with views to the west of an expansive lake, which was sorely tempting in the heat. Easily reaching the top, even with far too much water, we quickly put our heels in to reach a shady spot for lunch. Coming down into the next valley we came to the water cache, stocked by another trail angel couple, the Anderson’s, which had cold soda and beer! It also had a bunch of chairs, making it one of the best spots on trail so far. Eating lunch and sipping soda we chatted to another couple who go by the names Hermes and Lotus. They are from Burlington, Vermont, which makes four so far on trail from the same place. They started the same day as us, but we never really crossed paths. Lazing around we spent over two hours in the cool shade swapping stories about the trail and food. Deciding to head for camp, we summoned our enthusiasm, and hiked up and on. More contouring led over six miles into yet another valley, where we kept an eye out for campsites. With a distinct lack of suitable flat space, we decided to push in to the next water stop at the road crossing. Hiking in just before six we managed to find a couple of flat spots nestled on a small terrace. The proximity to giant power lines lending a crackle to the air. With noodles all around for dinner we plunged into our tents after a long, but surprisingly comfortable day.
Miles hiked – 24.5