Distance hiked today: 21 miles / 33.8 km.
The landscape today was less exciting. There were less views like we're used to, but the trail still pleasantly meandered through the hills and trees. There are still lots of beautiful wildflowers growing out of the dry sand and rock, fragile and colorful. Later in the day the views got better as the trail followed the side of a mountain.
A few sections had stiff thorny bushes growing towards the trail, making me push through them, scratching me, and grabbing onto my pack. It was really frustrating and I yelled at them a few times. That'll show 'em.
I stopped at an old campground with tables for lunch. There was even a trash can! Exciting, I know. We have to pack out all our trash obviously, including toilet paper. But since we're mostly in remote areas camping on random flat spots near the trail instead of campgrounds, I usually don't see a trash can until the next town. Getting to ditch the food wrappers and empty meal bags before then is a luxury - the weight does add up and it's bulky.
Later in the day I ran into Boxer sitting on a rock in the middle of the trail, looking disheveled and tired and eating the last crumbs of his trail mix. He was pretty much out of food with at least 20 miles to go to before town, but he'd declined our food offerings and was pushing through with his usual go-with-the-flow vibe that makes me laugh.
We camped at a ranger station, where they have a water cache for this long dry stretch. It was windy on the ridge, so we sat by the outhouse for dinner which was the only less-windy spot. It did die down at night though thankfully, for a more peaceful sleep.
Total trail mileage: 436.1 miles / 701.7 km