Day 21 - out of the woods and onto the plateau (31.3 miles)
Updated: Aug 4, 2022
May 30, 2021
Miles: 31.3 miles
Every time I want to wake up at 5am and hike before the sun rises my body has a hard time doing it. Getting up at 5:30am is no problem.
Got to hiking just a little before 6am. As I was all packed up I noticed I only had one hiking glove. I looked all around camp and couldn’t find it. I knew it must be in my pack somewhere but didn’t want to take the time to unpack everything.
I started the day on an actual trail, not a road. I went in and out of the woods all morning. Then after 8 or 9 miles I came out to a cliff where I got an amazing view of the area. Now I had a steep downhill climb so my 3.5 mph was done with for now. I had a 1,700 ft drop over 2.5 miles down to the water source.
The hike down was nice only it was rocky but still made good time.
Got down to the water source, a spring coming up out of a trough. At first glance it looked very green but after scooping some of it up it was clear on the surface. Got enough to last me the 13.5 miles to the water cache. Right as I was about to leave another hiker and a biker showed up.
After leaving the water source I had a fun time hiking in and out of canyons. All of it was exposed desert so no shade to be had. I came across some ranchers on horseback leading cattle around.
Made it across the desert section which slowly started to turn to hiking on top of these plateaus. I would hike up and down, just like the canyons but at times I would hike along the edge.
I did find a nice shady spot to spend my early afternoon break to get out of the sun.
Right around 3pm I got moving again, hadn’t cool down much if any but needed to get to the water 4.5 miles away. Same kind of hiking before the break. Then around 5pm I crossed a paved road and found the water cache. The caretaker had just finished refilling the jugs. I thanked him and he was off. He was taking one hiker home with him to spend the night.
I hung out at the water cache drinking as much as I could for about an hour. There were 2 other hikers hanging around as well. One left before I did and the other soon after I left. Before leaving I started soaking my dinner and would eat a few miles down trail. Just as I started hiking the wind really picked up.
The trail after the water cache was much easier but still beautiful. Took awhile but finally caught the hiker that left before I did. Then around 6:45pm I stopped to eat my dinner. Soon after that hiker I had passed stopped and was looking for a campsite. I said I was leaving shortly and it was all hers. Her partner showed up soon after.
After dinner I hiked 2.5 more miles until I found a good camping spot. Was kind of hard as I was hiking along a cliff and it had looked like rain all afternoon. Finally found a nice flat spot but it was still near the cliff. Just hope it doesn’t rain.