PCT Mile: 541
My favorite time to hike the desert is between dawn and sunrise. In fact, it’s the only time. The desert is in full bloom painting majestic beauty that my iPhone just cannot capture. The lighting changes the landscape in ways that are difficult to describe. It’s just beautiful…then Satan shows up. He has rules. I can sleep in his domain from 8pm to around 9-10am after which time he begins torching me with his pitchfork until dusk.
So here’s how to avoid torching. Wakeup at 2:30am, hike by 3, and pound out 7 hours of hiking…then hide! Now, by around 6pm the ol’ devil is running low on pitchfork fuel. I hike 2-3 more hours to top off the day.
Of course, the kids are gone after about an hour of morning conversation but I’m in a pretty good stride as well. I arrive at the water spigot just before 10am. There’s a small concrete box on the side of a dry creek bed in the middle of a wind farm. It’s getting hot!
I look up the hill and see a large tent-like structure and hear voices. It’s unbelievable! There are Trail Angels grilling hot dogs and serving cold drinks! One women is spraying the hiker’s faces and masking them with moisturizer. Out here in the middle of friggin nowhere! It was awesome!!!! I ate 2 hot dogs and fell asleep on an old cushion. The bummer is that they needed to leave so they closed up by noon. It was over 90 and we all scrambled down a dusty embankment to hide under a bridge until evening.