Last night was the most restful of the entire hike. Sleeping in until six and waking refreshed, we had a solid day of hiking into the hills ahead of us. Passing under the crackling power lines, we climbed out of the valley we camped in. At the top we had views to the town of Lake Hughes to the north, quietly nestled in an oasis of green. Apparently the PCT used to run through the town before being relocated up the hill. With sights of civilization on our descent we wandered down the contouring slopes, content with a short walk to a water cache. Once there we caught up with Lady Killer, who, after years of special operations training has a propensity to camp in higher places. This meant we had missed him the day before as we had not thought to look up. Chatting and sipping on a kids juice container, we admired the lovely spot and the great camping opportunities. After this break, it was a sharp uphill climb to get onto the ridges above us. With the sun starting to pick up heat we moved at a constant pace to get over the grind. Along this section of trail there are several interesting caves dug into the side of the hill which I was tempted to explore. Lunch was at a spot labelled Boy Scout Camp, which consisted of a flattish spot under some trees. It was at this point that Rattles finished all of her food, with the exception of dinner, for the day. Hiking on, we continued to climb gradually, aiming for water six miles away. The trail, wandering through through trees and tall shrubs, provided a very pleasant shady cool hike. Every so often a clearing would provide glimpses of the Mohave to the north. Upon reaching it, Rattles consumed extra snacks and Gatorade. Two miles further a small trail led a quarter of a mile up to an established campground. Unable to resist such an opportunity we set up our tents under the shade of some trees and supped at a metallic picnic table, perfect for alcohol stoves. After dinner we calculated that Rattles had, since the start of the day, consumed 4,200 calories in contrast to Sole Catcher and my 2,800 calories each. With the sun setting through the trees we headed to bed after a long but scenic day.
Miles hiked – 20