After a nice overnight stay at Mount Laguna, we woke up to a cool, windy morning.
There were wind advisories issued, with forecasts of 30-40mph winds, with gusts possibly to 60mph. Luckily it wasn’t that bad.
Starting the morning in the forest was just like being back on Oregon.
After a couple of miles of forest, we turned the corner to the big reveal, the overlook of the Anzo Borrego Desert. A few thousand feet below. This would be our view for most of the day.
The rest of the day were twists and turns along the edge of the mountain. A cool day the entire day with a light breeze sure made the miles go quickly.
More views like this helped.
Such a dull, lifeless landscape. Not at all.
Then during lunch, this finally happened:
The miles caught up and she finally took a nap at lunch. But the shutter sound from the camera woke her up, so we hit the trail.
Then this happened:
Only 2,600 to go.
But before we stopped for the night at a dry camp, we had to load up with water.
Luckily this was the overflow and there was a spigot, but we will have to deal with water sources like this as we get deeper in the desert.
Needless to say, we filter the water.
As you know, water is life. It’s especially true out here. The water spots along the trail are well documented, but that doesn’t make it easier. We’ll soon come up on a 37-mile stretch without water. That will take some ingenuity. Either that or carrying 12 liters (26+ lbs) of water. We aren’t ready for that.
But we were ready to camp amongst the boulders.
And eat dinner while watching the sun set over the hills.
Day 5 – 13 miles / 56 miles total
On Friday we knew we needed to throttle back. Our planned average for this stretch was 10 mile days and we had done 13 for each if the last three. Not a big deal by itself, but we knew we had a long, heavy water carry coming up.
So we kept it short at 8 trail miles, plus one mile round-trip to load up on water since we would be dry camping and uncertainty on the reliability of a water source we’d need the next morning.
Another beautiful day walking along the high points overlooking the desert. Not as cool as the day before, but nowhere near the “95 in the shade” that one hiker was crowing about.
On the way, Jen got to see her first horned lizard, aka a “horny toad”. She thought it was pretty cool, but shocked when I reached down to pick it up. It got away.
The last mile into camp was tough. We dropped 1,000′ in a mile. That’s bad enough, but we had just loaded the packs with our water. Thankfully our trekking poles helped keep us upright on the way down.
And even though it was quite early (2:30 pm) we found some shade and took naps. Then we set up camp and were asleep before sunset.
A good day.
Day 6 – 8 / 64