Distance hiked today: 24.2 miles / 38.9 km.
Today was hot, and for most of the morning there was no breeze. Near the top of the hill I got water from a trickling water source that was super slow. The water was just seeping out from the ground, and a piece of metal had been installed to funnel the drips into a tiny stream. It probably took 5 minutes to get a litre of water from it, but it was good water.
In the afternoon the trail went through a burn area. I passed a big tree with great shade, but it was too early for lunch. I figured I'd find a tree in about an hour to stop by - wrong. There was not a single tree for shade, just sand, burnt tree stubs and a whole lot of poisonous poodle dog bush. I kept going for miles until I found a dead tree that was giving a bit of shade, better than nothing. Later in the day the trees returned, along with lots of wild flowers and desert of poppies (the orange ones).
The water in this section was scarce, with a couple cisterns that were sketchy. I carried enough water from the trickling source to skip the first two - one had a warning that fire retardant had been dropped in it a couple years ago, another had dead animals in it, and a spigot that could have been reliable seemed to have been drained mostly dry by the hikers that day. Every 5 minutes or so half a litre would come out, and then you'd have to wait. I reached the next water trough that was under a corrugated metal cover and couldn't seem to get clean water out of it, having to crawl underneath the shelter and scoop from the shallow pool. So I went up the hill to a cistern which was full and scooped it from there. It tasted like a wetsuit… that rubber smell/taste, but it did the trick.
I cowboy camped next to it, sheltered by some bushes. I've really taken to cowboy camping, it's nice to sleep in the open, and when camping with others it's easier to chat while we have dinner in bed. It basically never rains in the desert and there's no dew in the morning, and there are very few bugs.
I also passed 500 miles today!
Total trail mileage: 502.4 miles / 808.4 km