May 5, 2015
Campsite on trail near Garnet Peak trail junction (50.0) to Campsite near dry creek bed just S. of Chariot Canyon Rd. (63.7)
13.7 PCT miles today, 1 non-PCT mile today
64.7 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 1,406 ft, – 2,830 ft
The desert is, quite literally, blowing us away. More than once today I was hiking along and almost toppled over from a huge gust of wind. To be fair, I’m a bit top-heavy with my pack on, but we are talking strong, powerful wind out here. I’m hesitant to complain, since the alternative seems to be the relentless heat that we dealt with the first few days. But if you’ve ever been plagued by continuous blowing wind, then you know how demoralizing it can be. At least we weren’t on our bikes, since wind can basically bring you to a halt on bike tour, but it just gets annoying on a thru-hike.
The wind never really let up last night. Neither Don nor I got very much sleep, and the sleep I did get was haunted by the slapping, rippling sounds all around me. I’m not sure what it is that makes it so scary, but it honestly felt like morning might never come. I did find some relief when I finally put on some headphones and listened to music, but when the sun came up, we were more than ready to hike out of there.
The major themes of a hiker’s journal tend to become the condition of their body, food, the weather, and fellow hikers, so forgive me if I start to fall into those traps. I will say that today Don and I hiked almost 15 miles and still got into camp by 4:30, which made us feel like we’re right on track and slowly getting conditioned to this lifestyle. I was probably more all-around sore today than I’ve been any other day, and I do have two little blisters on my right foot now, but I haven’t once thought of giving up and I am really looking forward to all of the days ahead. I love the simplicity of life out here, the physical exercise, and the endless, unpredictable views. And I suppose I can learn to love the wind, too.