May 24, 2017
Mile 592.89 – Landers Camp (592.89-608.9)
Last night was a night full of weird dreams involving an elbow dislocation, a kidnapping, and a bunch of tiny hamsters running around the campsite trying to carry me away. When my alarm went off at 4:30, it was still dark outside, and my body resisted getting up. Eventually, I did manage to get dressed, pack up and my stuff, and start hiking.
This morning was a lot better than yesterday morning, although it didn’t start out that way. At first, I tried to eat my breakfast bar but my mouth was super dry, but I had to conserve water so I couldn’t drink too much, my feet hurt, and the trail almost immediately started up a climb that had me struggling. But soon, the trail became somewhat less steep, and we got a clear view of the sun rising over the hills, and it was incredible. The light was so gorgeous. Photos did not do the scene justice. The gorgeous sunrise lifted my mood a lot, and I got to the top of the first climb way faster than I expected to, and then the trail started slowly meandering down through a lush green pine forest. It was so beautiful, I was so in my happy place.
I stopped in a little pass before the second part of the climb to have my second breakfast, and then put some music in and crushed it up the rest of the hill. The whole morning’s hike was just glorious. Most of the morning was spent winding through the tall pine forest, with occasional awesome views of the surrounding mountains. I passed the 600 mile marker, which was pretty exciting, and made it the 9.5 miles to the spring before 10am. Gummies caught up to me at the water, and we rested there for a bit before moving on 2 miles to a creek.
It wasn’t as hot as it had been the past couple of days, but we still rested at the creek for a long time. I think we were there at least 3 hours. I tried to nap again, and I’m pretty sure I was unconscious for a little bit, but there were a ton of flies buzzing around me and crawling on my legs, which made good sleep pretty difficult to find. Eventually, we decided to just press on the final 5 miles to camp.
The afternoon hike was fairly uneventful, but nice. It was mostly flat, and wound through more of the tall, dry pines. There were some cool rock outcrops here and there, and it actually kind of reminded me of a landscape that could exist at home in Ontario.
Soon, we arrived at Landers Camp. KK and Joe were there, and we sat with them for a bit before they headed out to do some night hiking. I’m cowboy camping again out of sheer laziness (plus I just kind of enjoy sleeping out in the open). There’s something really cool about having a view of the tops of tall pines from your bed. There’s an awesome gushing spring of cool, clear water in the camp, which was part of the reason we were drawn to camp here. This is the last reliable water source that’s actually on trail for the next 35 miles, so tomorrow is going to really suck. I made cheddar broccoli pasta for dinner, and added red pepper flakes and real cheddar cheese, and it was amazing. We arrived at camp super early, which I’m really happy about after getting into camp so late the past couple nights. The sun is still up and I’m already done with the day’s blog, and I’ll actually have time to read a bit of my book before going to sleep at a reasonable time. Getting up early again tomorrow to beat the heat so we can conserve our water as much as possible.