After running all our errands and packing up our bags we loaded in my parents car and headed for the trail. We were dreading this section a little bit since we were carrying a full resupply and 5 liters of water. This is to be the driest section of the trail which feels like the desert's final test for us before we get into the Sierra. We decided to go no-cook until we get to Kennedy Meadows and we bounced our stove ahead to save weight since we need to carry extra water.
We arrived at the trail around 11:45 and said our goodbyes. We crossed the road and started down a relatively flat and meandering trail. The wind was not the hellish beast it was a few days ago and that was a welcome treat. We passed through miles of private land with forest service signs saying to stay on the trail before we dropped down toward Hwy 58 via a handful of switchbacks. We cooed at the cows grazing nearby and they gave us funny looks before running away. The trail met with a paved road and we walked that to the hwy overpass where there was a good sized water cache. We know you should never rely on a cache but I wished I would have risked it and not carried so much water. It killed my legs and feet to tote such a heavy pack.
We sat at the cache and cameled up while we ate and were joined by two other hikers who were dropped off from town. I'll be honest, I baited them a bit when I asked if it was a hard hitch from Hwy 58 to see if they would cop to skipping an 8 mile section of trail between the first road and the hwy as some people do, but they were clean. ;-)
The wind was blowing sand in our food so we packed up and headed out. The trail parallels the hwy for a couple miles before starting it's ascent through a canyon. Josh and I had only planned to hike a half day today and he found us a lovely tent site next to a grove of Joshua Trees at mile 10.9 for the day.
Right now it's 8pm and we have eaten dinner and sampled all the snacks from our food bags. It is windy out and the tent is flapping but it is noting like the other day. We have a beautiful view of Mojave and I'm feeling good. I am a bit concerned about my water levels as I have about two liters to get me 13 miles tomorrow but I figure I won't die if I show up to the spring empty. I hope to get an early start tomorrow to avoid the heat and maximize my water rations. Well see how it goes.
Until tomorrow, goodnight.