a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 533 to 549.7. Cowboy camp to Bushcamp.
We slept surprisingly well. I mean, really surprisingly. When we arrived late last night I never would have thought that I would even be able to sleep for a minute. But that 31 year old body really needed some rest apparently. I slept like a baby. The wind was howling, it was freezing cold, we didn't have any sort of protection, I never slept this exposed ever. But yeah, definitely a good sleep, though too short.
The wind is still going strong in the morning, so we quickly pack our stuff and get going again. It's only two more miles to the next water source, but we don't really stop there because we are still carrying plenty. Hot Mojave desert, we thought. We will drink water like horses, we thought. But it is cold because of the wind (we are even wearing our down hoodies) and we hardly drink any water. Speedy is quickly ahead, as usual. Dario and I slowly make our way up through the hundreds of windmills. I have never experienced wind like this before. It is almost impossible to stay on trail, the wind keeps pushing me sidewards, really preventing me from staying on trail. It is now going uphill and I am really struggling, I even start to cry. Even the saliva of my loud sobbing won't stay put. It leaves through my open mouth and disappears. It's almost funny. But I am still crying. The wind takes up all my energy, I don't know how I can keep going like this. Luckily we find a bush where we can take our breakfast break. I calm down a little and feel stronger after having some food in my stomach. More energised we climb the next couple of mountains and finally reach our targeted water source for lunch. Speedy has already been waiting under the most amazing, shade-providing tree for at least 2 hours, but he is in no rush. After getting the water at the little creek and filtering it we set up our tent's footprint, get out our sleeping pads and take a long nap. Life is good again.
Three hours later we decide to tackle the next mountain. It is now 4 pm, no longer windy, but still really hot. We only have another 8 miles to go until our campsite so we know we can take it slow. We climb the mountain slowly, but steadily. The miles hardly pass and it is hard to stay focused. The desert floor already looks so far away. We are tired and a little dispirited. This heat can just be really hard on you. And then, we cannot believe it, we see umbrellas. People. TRAIL MAGIC. When you expect it the least. But need it the most. Sure enough, Dan and his wife are still there at 7pm, they just refilled their precious trail magic cache with fresh fruits (strawberries!!!), muffins, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and donuts, and of course water. In the middle of nowhere! We are absolutely amazed and completely speechless. We thank them like a million times, then proceed to eat some Donuts, apples, oranges and strawberries. Knowing that the campsite is only like 0.5 miles away, we already feel so much better.
We leave this wonderful magical place and soon arrive at the campsite where Speedy and a couple of other hikers already set up camp. We quickly set up tent (by now we are so fast at this!), get cooking and eat dinner cuddled up in our sleeping bags. Only one more day till Tehachapi. Tehachapi - a town which sounded always so close to the Sierras! Tomorrow we will be there!