May 16, 2015
Ziggy and The Bear’s (210.8) to Campsite at Mission Creek Crossing (226.3)
15.5 PCT miles today
239.4 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 3,624 ft, – 2,132 ft
Today began and ended in total bliss. It was only the afternoon that tested our patience and perseverance. We woke at Ziggy and The Bear’s exclaiming how wonderfully we had both slept. We got up lazily, taking our time packing up our bags and chatting with our friends. A group of about 7 of us helped the angels out with their recycling by crushing hundreds of cans and bottles, and we actually had a great time coming up with a system and getting more efficient with each bag. I had some time to write and get caught up with the outside world and then, before we knew it, it was almost noon and ready for us to get back out on the trail.
I have to mention that right as we were leaving, like packs on our backs, Ziggy had to go and offer up a run to In-N-Out burger, which it turns out was only 6 miles away. It took all our will-power not to put in an order with the rest of the crew, and instead to fill up our water bottles and hike out into the desert for 15 more miles on our tired, sore feet.
It was hard hiking today. Our bodies were still fatigued from the last couple days and the trail was steep in sections, and dry and hot throughout. I say hot, but really the high today was probably only around 75 with wind, so it could have been a lot worse. But in short, we were back in the desert. We’ve decided that the entire trail so far can be broken into two distinct habitats, the land of lizards and snakes, and the land of squirrels and rabbits. One guess which environment Pickles and I prefer. It is crazy how much our spirits perk up when we see that first squirrel or pine cone on the ground. The desert is foreign to us, and even though we have definitely begun to learn its ways, and appreciate some of its beauty, it can still feel like a ruthless and demoralizing place. So that’s how today felt. Achy feet and hot desert sand make for one cranky MapQuest.
Fortunately, our evening’s campsite has turned that all around. In our last mile of the day we dropped into this beautiful green canyon with an actual running creek and we are camped right along its lush and musical banks. We bathed in cool, fresh water, set up our tent without a wisp of wind, and are now surrounded by the sounds of a babbling brook and a chorus of lively frogs. Life truly does not get any better than this.