We didn’t get a peep of cell signal today which meant that I haven’t been able to contact the post office in Tehachapi to bounce my box and socks to Kennedy Meadows and UB hasn’t been able to contact his mum who is meant to be meeting him this weekend. I also haven’t been able to post my blog entries and hope I’ll be able to get this out tomorrow.
Today was completely relaxed and one of the most chilled we’ve had on the trail so far. I didn’t sleep that well again but in the morning it was already bright by the time I poked my head out of my sleeping bag. We had a snack before leaving camp then hiked 2 miles before stopping to make breakfast burritos and coffee. We sat with a hiker called Legend who was one of the first people I met on the trail on Day 1.
I felt good after a proper breakfast but because I’ve lost quite a lot of weight and my hip belt is now as tight as it will go, it started rubbing really badly on my hip bones to the point that my skin started to bleed. I successfully fashioned padding out of a pair of socks and now the pack sits more comfortably around my waist. I may need to contact ULA for a small hip belt regardless.
We paused again after another 6 miles when we thought we had cell coverage but sadly not enough to send a text or make a call. Instead we looked at photos on our phones from before the trail. Everything prior to the trail feels like years ago and it was scary how far removed that reality now feels. We’re definitely in a bubble out here on the trail and sometimes it really hits me just how incredible it is to be free in the wilderness for this amount of time. I was even saying to UB after we decided to break at 3pm, eat then sleep till 6pm, then walk again, that we make our own time out here. You can sleep, eat and hike whenever you wish really, other than the weather to guide your decisions it’s really up to you.
The desert section we crossed today would have been extremely hot with limited shade, but the temperature this week has been so mild and the wind is still so strong that I didn’t even wear my big rimmed hat through one of the hottest sections. Today I tried a pair of UB’s socks called Dry Max which he swears by and I’ve got to say they worked a treat. Even my existing blisters didn’t hurt as much. I also went back to wearing the original insoles of my shoes as I think the heavy gel ones I got from Dave in Mount Laguna might actually be hurting the bottoms of my feet. UB has heard the broken record of my foot bitching for weeks now but I’m really hoping after Dr Sole has a look at them in Kennedy Meadows and hopefully rids me of my old blisters, I’ll be in good shape moving forward.
15 miles into our day we reached the last water cache for 25 miles which is the longest waterless stretch on the trail so far. This was the reason we decided to rest until evening because we had a huge climb straight after the water which would have drained our supply too quickly.
We’re now up in the mountains again and I can feel the Sierras are right around the corner. We ate more food today than any other on the trail so I feel we’ll be in great shape leaving Kennedy Meadows next week. The only challenge is getting through this next stretch without running out of water or getting sick from it like many other hikers during this stretch.