Day 5-7: Life in the Desert
Day 5: Mile 45.5-59.5; 14 miles
Day 6: Mile 59.5-72; 12.5 miles
Day 7: Mile 72- 87; 15 miles
The past three days have continued to be beautiful and filled with fun experiences. In order to give folks a sense of our new lifestyle we decided to focus this post on the details of one day, day 6.
6 AM: Woke up after a very windy and foggy night. Both of us were awakened several times during the night by the wind pummeling the fabric of our tent. We changed into hiking clothing and packed up sleeping bags, tent, and other gear. Then we ate granola with powdered milk for breakfast.
7 AM: Started hiking in the cooler part of the day, just after sunrise. The wind was so strong it was hard to balance at times. We chatted with a fellow thru hiker named Dazzle as we walked through rolling hills in the Anza Borrego Desert.
9:30 AM: Took a short break and ate a granola bar. Lent our solar panel to Dazzle, who attached it to the top of his pack. He returned it a few miles down trail after his phone was recharged.
9:40 AM: Continued hiking. Observed many wildflowers – nightshade, Indian paintbrush, and bush poppy were the flowers we recognized. I (Anna) am trying to learn more about desert plants. Sometimes one of us will take a picture of a flower or leaves while hiking and then try to ID the plant later during our siesta.
10:30 AM: We stopped briefly for Anna to treat the first blister of the hike.
10:40 AM: Hike on!
12:00 PM: Arrived at a water tank and refilled some of our empty water containers. It had been 15 miles since our last water source, so we had been carrying 10 pounds of water each. Here we also ate a lunch of cheese and tortillas and rested in the shade.
3:00 PM: Started hiking again. The trail hugged the mountainside and slowly decended. As we dropped to a lower elevation, we saw more cacti, including hedgehog and beavertail cacti which were flowering with lovely pink blossoms.
5:00 PM: Stopped at a dry creek bed and decided to set up camp there. No rain was expected until the following evening, so the creek bed stayed dry while we were there.
6:00 PM: Made broccoli cheddar rice on our alcohol stove. Added olive oil for extra calories and flavor. Had a Kit Kat for dessert in the desert (fortunately not desert in the dessert.)
8:00 PM: Zzzzzz.
That’s it for day 6. Here are a few highlights from days 5 and 7:
– Watching the sun rise over the the Sawtooth Range. Awesomely beautiful! The desert has a stark and dramatic beauty that can be stunning.
– Trail angels Pinkie and Dead Animal surprised us with trail magic of pie and root beer near Scissors Crossing.
– Saw our first rattlesnake, about 10 feet from the trail. It was coiled and rattling!