Distance hiked today: 23.3 miles / 37.5 km.
I had trouble sleeping last night with the wind blowing, which only died down in the early morning. I ended up sleeping in and didn't leave camp until 7, and I ate my breakfast while walking to make up some time.
Today was all Joshua trees and sand. The trail was sandy which makes it harder to walk as your feet sink into it with each step. Big and small Joshua trees dotted the hills, with their spiky branches, or are they leaves? They're a weird tree.
There's no water on trail in this stretch for 43 miles. Luckily there are 2 reliable water caches to get us through it, with large water jugs. I feel like I'm just traveling between water sources, which is pretty much the whole desert.
I found a cluster of Joshua trees with good shade for lunch, tucking under it. I stood up and smashed my head twice into its spiky clusters - 10/10 would not recommend, they are very pointy.
At the second water cache there was a bit of trail magic, some fruit and beers already claimed by others, but also Diet Coke! Which is rare in trail magic, because most people want the calories from the sugar in regular Coke. I ran. It was refreshing, and even still on a bit of ice in a bag which I took to top up my insulin cooler. There was a bin with random things in it including a scale along with wood planks to set it on. We took turns weighing ourselves - I think I've lost at least 10-13 pounds. Not surprising, since my pants are noticeably looser now. Need to get those calories…
I passed the 1,000 km mark (not miles) - the bigger number is more satisfying to celebrate.
While I'm not really hiking with anyone, I often see the same people and get to know them a bit. Dan and Breezy are about the same pace, and we ended up camping in the same places the last couple nights.
In the evening I hiked up the next big climb, and camped on top of the mountain alone. It was a calm night with zero wind. And I mean zero, not even a light breeze or movement of air to ruffle a leaf which is rare. Everything was so quiet, and I stood still for a while just listening to the silence as the sun set.
Total trail mileage: 635.3 miles / 1022.2 km