Day 7: Lost Valley Spring to CS144 (24.4 miles)
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
May 14, 2016 - Great morning to hike, a little cool and some cloud cover. I knew this was going to be a long hot and dry stretch. It was 8 miles uphill to my only water source for the day so I got there quickly, average about 3.5 mph. The water was in these big tank towers located at Mike’s Place. Normally the caretaker makes food for hikers but I got there early and he was out of breakfast food. So I filled up with 6 liters of water to last me the next 24 miles to the Paradise Cafe.
Hiking was going great until it hit high noon and was ready for a long break. Again I’m hiking in high desert so it’s hot. So I pulled over to a somewhat shady spot and set up my tent to get out of the sun. I hung out there for almost 4 hours. It was just so hot that it was hard to sleep and since I was conserving water I was pretty thirty. The sun was so intense that I needed to use my umbrella inside the tent.
Around 4:15pm I packed up and headed to finish the 7 miles for the day. I was feeling pretty beat up from the long miles this morning, plus I wasn’t drinking as much as I normally do as I still needed the last 2 liters to make it till tomorrow morning.
After about a mile the wind died down enough to be able to pull out my umbrella, the cloud cover I enjoyed this morning had burned off long ago. With about 3 miles from camp the wind started picking up so bad that I had to put up the umbrella but by then it was starting to cool off, it’s crazy how the temperature changes out here in the desert. A mile before camp I run into a water cache I had not planned on. I figured I had enough so I left the little water that was there for other thirsty hikers. I ended up drinking only half a liter those last 7 miles which way less than I should have but wanted to make sure I had some for tomorrow.
Came across 2 rattlesnakes, first ones to see on trail. The first one caught me off guard, it made such a loud rattle I jumped back. It was off the side of the trail so I was luckily, it start to move away when I got closer. The second one I came across I never saw but I sure heard it. I think it was in this big bush right next to the trail and it didn’t seem to move at all when I got close so I went out of my way to make sure I was nowhere near that bush.
Now I’m setting on top of this big boulder watching the sunset. I can already tell it’s going to be a cold night; already have my jacket, hat and gloves on. Looking forward to tomorrow where I’ll get a hot meal at the Paradise Cafe.