May 21

Mile 83 – 95

12 miles

Today kind of sucked. I thought sleeping with no tent would make me faster in the morning. It did not. 

 I had a full day of hiking till I reached the next water cache. I was loaded down with water and all the food I’d bought in Julian. 

Besides all my whining, the view was was outstanding and it lasted all day. The valley floor was flat and far below, unmarred by civilization. From horizon to distant horizon, it was just me and the desert hills. I may have seen four or five other people, each for less than a minute. Being alone in all this wilderness can feel intimidating, especially when my body is in pain. I knew these first weeks on the trail would be physically exhausting. I’m not 25 anymore. But I’m not broken yet. 

After many breaks and snacks in the shade, I finally stumbled down the path to the big water cache at mile 91. A million, billion thanks to the trail angels that stock all this water. 

My late snack was a cheese and Frito burrito. Apparently I make strange food choices in the desert. 

I could have kept going, but I made myself find a spot an hour before dark. I’d hiked late the last two nights. The wind was blowing and whipping around.  I put up my tent and crawled in. It was too windy to cook. I ate a tuna packet and some tortillas sitting in the doorway of my tent. There was a mouse running around. I saw it twice. I worried that it might chew a hole in my tent to get at my food bag. I put the food bag under my head so that I would hear if the mouse started chewing and went to sleep.

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