Miles Hiked: 25.6
Total Mileage: 245.2
This morning I got out of camp so late. I didn’t start hiking until 7am. The preserve was so nice that I didn’t want to leave it. I was feeling really sore from the day before so I wanted to take it slow this morning. Getting out of camp late always makes my day feel so much longer. Today was absolutely the case. Less than two miles of hiking and we crossed White Water river. It was already hot at 8am so I couldn’t resist the temptation to get in the river. It was nice to clean my shirt a little bit and soak my whole body. There were a ton of other hikers there doing the same thing. After being thoroughly soaked I pushed on into the heat. My shirt was dry within 3 miles. It’s insane how hot and dry it can get out here! I climbed the rolling desert hills with no shade before dropping down to the first crossing of Mission Creek. There was a shady spot where I took a break since it was the first shade I had seen in six miles. My feet were getting irritated from the sand and I felt some small hot spots. I made sure to wear two pairs of socks again and tape over the hot spots. Lots of other hikers were taking a break there as well. No one wanted to leave to hike out in the heat of the day. I checked my watch and mileage at 10am and I only hiked half of what I usually have done by then.
I decided to hike on in the heat of the day anyways. I knew the trail criss-crossed over Mission Creek so my plan was to keep dipping my shirt and head in the creek to stay wet and cool despite the heat. This section of trail reminded me so much of the Gila river on the CDT except with way more trail. It was more difficult to navigate than the rest of the trail so far but I felt like my naviguessing skills were pretty sharp after the CDT. I honestly had a lot of fun doing a little bit of route finding. Even though I was hiking along a creek, it was uphill all day. I was still struggling in the heat for some reason. I kept running into Valerie and Martin from Belgium and taking breaks with them. After making it though the whole mission Creek section the trail switch backed steeply up and out of the river canyon. By this point my quads were burning. Luckily the audio book I am listening to got very interesting so I was able to distract myself from the soreness a bit. When I reached the last water source for 17 miles I took a break to make dinner. I ate my ramen noodles with my hands since I unfortunately left my spork somewhere. At that point Angus and Rainbow caught up to me and we hiked four more miles together into the dark. We all wanted to push it into town tomorrow night. By the time we finally found a flat spot to cowboy camp I was exhausted. It was about 9pm. I checked the map and saw that we climbed 7.7k vertical feet today. Now it made sense why today was so hard. This is the most vert I have knowingly backpacked in a day. I fell asleep without writing and fell another day behind on my blog.