Mission Creek Spring to Arrastre Trail Camp
I woke up ready to hit the road. Out of coffee! I ate a bar as I hiked out. As the path crossed a ridge top, I came to the end of the burned area. As usual, a new biome for the day. Less desert, more trees, still plenty hot. Even the geology changed. There was more of it. Great chunks of white quartz lined the trail. My trail runners crunched over white quartz gravel.
A whole new group of hikers passed me by. I think that group of hikers I was leapfrogging with have moved ahead and a new group is catching up with me. One tiny girl zoomed by me, a wide happy grin stretched across her face. She had even shorter legs than I do and what a pace! I have to stop blaming my short little legs and learn to pick up the pace. For the rest of the day, I tried to emulate that happy fast girl. Whenever I felt laggy, I thought to myself Be that speedy girl and for some reason my legs would go quicker.
I’ve been pretty determined to hike at my own pace, but if the last couple days are any indication, the heat is coming. Walking through the Mojave is going to be a real Brain Bake if I don’t start moving faster. I don’t want anyone else telling me how to hike and I certainly don’t want to compete with anyone else’s speed. But I think now that my feet and muscles are a little broken in, I have to start competing with myself. Keep trying to bump up my miles and hiking time. Otherwise I won’t make it to the Sierras. I know my May start could mean I won’t make it to Canada before the snow starts falling. But it would be a real shame if I didn’t at least finish California. And anyway, what would I even do with myself if I stopped? I don’t have a job or a place to live. Looks like I’m stuck on the PCT for now.
I saw two more PCT landmarks: the zoo and the sofa. It’s not a real zoo, just some sweaty large animals in big cages. Not nearly as cramped or unshaded as I’d gathered from earlier descriptions. Also, it’s for sale. You can buy the land. The animals are moving to better digs off the mountain.
In keeping with my new determination to be speedy, I kept going until sundown. I think I could have kept going. I’ve got to get into this night hiking thing.