I wake up groggy. I drag myself out of my bed in the women’s bunk room to join a table of hikers in the restaurant downstairs. Over breakfast, I learn that even if I wanted to stay another night, I can’t – the entire ranch is booked.
We ask the staff for weather info and find Judy who says it looks like less of a chance of lightning, but it’s still going to rain. Sounds good to me! I head back upstairs, put my pack together, and walk the mile back to the highway. After an hour, Francesco, a cowboy at the ranch, gives me a hitch to the trailhead.
I hike over the pass and the clouds begin to thicken. It starts to rain, not terribly bad, but I’m so, so sleepy and the rain is making me want to curl up. I hike down to a creek, set up my tent and crash for two hours. Its 5:30pm when I wake and decide it’s going to be a short day. I make lentil chili and pour in packets of Tapatio and a bag of Fritos. The mosquitos have arrived for their dinner, so I retreat to my tent. I’m asleep again well before 7pm.
I hear the birds and wake. It’s 5:30am. I pack and head out, noticing the distinct mountain lion prints in the new mud. At least it’s walking in front of me. I stop after three hours to eat an amazing 660 calorie blueberry muffin, drink coffee, and read a bit from Cadillac Desert. It’s a fascinating look at the history of irrigating the American desert – a perfect book for this trek since I’ve just walked through many places the author talks about.
After breakfast, I hike for another three hours. It begins to rain again. Perfect timing – I was starting to get hungry for lunch. I find a tree enclosed camp site and set up my tent. Soon there is thunder, hail, and lightning. The storm provides a nice excuse for a leisurely lunch. By the time I’m finished eating, the storm is pretty much over too. I dry my tent in the sun and then continue on my way.