Day 33: Mile 616 to mile 643.5 (27.5 miles, 44.3 km)
Today was going to be another scorcher in the high 90’s (high 30’s C) and I was determined to get a really early start. It is back out into the true desert today with zero shade and looking at my maps it was going to be practically all up hill. I was not going to do that during the heat of the day day.
It’s essentially 35 miles out to the highway which I can do in two days. If I can knock out 25 or more today then it’s a shorter day tomorrow to get into town and resupply. Well I just need lunch stuff really, I have enough other stuff, probably enough to get right through to Kennedy Meadows. But when there is a Hwy leading to a town you take it.
I started walking by 4:30am just to get as much distance in as possible in the morning cool. The moon is waning and no longer full however still threw enough light to see without the aid of a head lamp.
The terrain was really unremarkable. Barren, dry and shade less. I’m very much over the desert now and just want to be done with it. Only 24 hours to go I tell myself.
All morning the going was hard, uphill and super hot, making for slower walking.
By 11:30 I reached a water cache at Bird Spring Pass, found a nice patch of shade under a pine and quickly fell asleep. I’m not going anywhere in this heat and will have to wait until evening. I have 15 miles in already so I can do 10 more in an evening push and it will make for a shorter day tomorrow. And hopefully be done with this bloody desert.
After a nice long lunch feature a nice afternoon snooze in the shade I ventured out into the sun again. There was some wind around which made the 4.5 climb out of the valley bearable. My shirt will be saturated but 5 mins in the sun and wind on top and it will be dry and stiff with salt crystals.
I plugged away at the climb, really slow and steady, trying not to push too hard. It was hard going but forgiving once on top as the terrain levelled and then started to descend.
From there, there isn’t really too much to report. It was 8 mile along undulating terrain, changing to pines but still very much in the desert.
I pushed on until just after 8pm satisfied was a solid days hike and moving every so slowly towards Kennedy Meadows.