Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 21: Mile 216.8 - Mile 230.1

I slept like the dead in that little 'for lack of a better place' camp site. I didn't even hear the wind. We woke at 6am and broke camp without coffee. Immediately we climbed steeply out of the canyon and saw the spider web of animal trails connected to the PCT and agreed we had made the right decision in stopping last night.

We hiked comfortably on the ridge and dropped down into Whitewater Canyon heading north on the trail. We stopped behind a large rock that I think is called Red Dome on the map and got water. We cameled up 2 liters and packed some more for our next leg to Mission Creek. While getting water a fellow thru hiker named Matt arrived and we chatted until we were joined by three seniors who were on a day hike. After answering the usual questions about our hike, Josh and I headed out.

The miles came quickly and easily even though it was hot out. We stopped occasionally to watch the plethora of caterpillars running here and there and doing caterpillar things. These particular caterpillars will grow to be sphinx moths, I think.

Josh was having pains in his legs so we slowed down and were passed by Matt and another hiker named Mogly. When we arrived at the creek we sat in our favorite spot and relaxed. We could hear other hikers up stream but decided not to join them and have a quiet break. We sat for an hour and Pillsbury visited before we packed up to leave.

The weather was obviously changing as the wind picked up and clouds started to billow over the horizon. Suddenly Josh ate his words about the impending storm being a fluke. We hiked in the creek bed for a few miles needing to stop frequently for our feet and legs. We decided it was best to find a place to set up camp before the impending rain.

We found a space on high ground, out of the creek bed as being a desert native I was taught you DO NOT camp in desert washes or creek beds when there is weather up high. Flash floods can happen on a sunny day if there is a storm at the elevation above.

The weather seemed to improve while we lay in the tent talking, cuddling, eating and massaging each others feet and legs. We talked about a new strategy for our days. We've decided we need to only take short breaks until we get our miles. The siesta in the afternoon is killing us. Hopefully this will help us get more miles on fresh legs.

Right now it's 10pm and the wind is blowing and there is an intermittent sprinkle of rain hitting the tent. I am going to be sure our gear is dry bagged before turning in for the night. Fingers crossed we are able to hike out safely tomorrow.

Until then, good night.

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