Mile 652.1-669.5 (17.4)
We woke late and lazed about until check out. Freshly showered, well fed, and slightly less fatigued, we walked toward the bus stop.
But first a side trip to McDonald’s, where Spider ate two meals. I wasn’t feeling 100% so just drank water and ate fruit. Even on trail, I really don’t like fast food. Spider, on the other hand, gets really into it.
We met the bus at 12:30 and asked the bus driver to let us off at Walker Pass. We dozed on and off for the hour long ride, then snapped to when he announced our stop. We grabbed our packs and returned to the trail.
Right out of the gate was a long uphill. We climbed for almost 8 miles. I was feeling weak but determined to get miles in. And it was so beautiful! Puffy clouds in a bright sky, soft trail angeling upwards, desert browns and greens for miles. As we climbed we could see mountain silhouettes in the distance in a hazy blue. We rounded the side of the mountain and we saw a distant desert valley with new craggy peaks coming into view. We climbed and climbed, eventually succumbed to a long break on the mountainside, then climbed some more.
And then we started to descend. And it got hot. We stopped in the early evening to eat dinner and let the heat dissipate before continuing on. Our water source was another four miles from us, and one more good climb. I trudged along slowly and celebrated with a pathetic “woohoo” when we got to the top and started descending. I got ahead of Spider so, when I got to the water source after dark, I waited a while. He caught up and we took the side trail up the creek to fill up, then returned to the trail to hike until we found a camp spot. The waxing moon made it pleasant to hike, and we soon found a flat spot and set up our tent. Too many bugs to cowboy camp. I am feeling a little better and hope tomorrow brings more improvement. We are so close to the big mountains!