It was foggy and cold this morning. Everything was wet, but waking up in the beautiful alpine forest is heaven. Granite rock and pine needles litter the landscape. The Sierra is close, and now it shows.
I linked up with Righteous, Big Daddy, and Earwig and decided to hike with them and take it east then next 20 miles. The walk through the forest for most of the morning was spectacular. Fog slowly burned off as it warmed up. We're at about 6,700 feet. But like everything on the trail, the landscape will dramatically shift again as we descended 2,000 feet down to the desert floor. Before that happened we got some trail magic: two former thru hikers posted on the trail handing out m&m cookies and a reddi-whip garnish. Delicious.
When we got to the desert floor the heat jumped ten degrees. Luckily there was a water cache on the side of the road with about 200 gallons. Joshua trees are everywhere..more so than in the actual Joshua Tree National Park.
We had to take 2 mile detour off the main PCT to the next water source- willow creek. It's a big cistern in the middle of the desert. In the middle of nowhere. We all made dinner and bullshitted for a while before deciding to cowboy camp. It's beautiful out and the sunset over the hills is calming. There's also no wind. As I write this, I lay tucked in my sleeping bag next to the others, staring at the sky. Earwig got up to poop and made a bunch of noise, so I decided to finally take a few shots of the Milky Way as he milled around, looking for a spot to dig. Tomorrow we're getting up at 3am and hiking the next 15 miles, which is uphill and waterless before the sun and blistering heat kick in. It's forecasted to be a toasty day tomorrow.