Distance: 21 trails miles plus 1 mile back to campground
Number of incredible trail magic incidents: 1
Number of failed hitch attempts: 1
Number of parcels languishing at post office due to failed hitch attempt: 1
A peaceful night was had with some good quality sleep. Somehow that made it even more difficult to get up at 3.30 this morning (a lie in!). But, we reminded ourselves how big a climb we had to start the day, which incentivised us to get moving before the day got too hot.
Gosh, it was hot going up that hill at 4.30am! But, as always it was a gentle climb and when we saw the pitches available at the top we thought perhaps we should have gone on yesterday. Not that we had a bad pitch where we were - the best of the trip so far, in fact.
The pull up the hill wasn't as bad as it looked. What appeared to be a massive height was only 1500', taking us up to our highest point to date as we brushed the 7000' contour for the first of three times today.
Once we were coming down the other side of this hill the surrounding became less lovely. Scrubby woodland, followed by another burnt area, but this time burnt so long ago that there was scarcely evidence left as to why all of the trees were dead.
Despite being well supplied with water today, we were again making a good pace. Today's incentive was to reach Walker Pass in time to hitch into Onyx for the PO, before catching a bus into Lake Isabella to get a motel, a wash, some cleaning of the clothes and a proper meal.
We continued with that aim even when we ran out of any shade and discovered that the day was roasting. Had we had any ascent left by that point we would have been forced to sit out the heat of the day, but as we were heading downhill we trucked on as it got hotter and hotter.
Fantasies were in full flight, about ice cream and cold pop, as we approached the campground just before the road at Walker Pass. And what should we find when we got there but Trail Magic? Greeted with a big cheer, within a minute we had cold pop and ice cream thrust into our hands.
We tarried too long chatting (during which time we were Christened 'Fish and Biscuits'* - I'm Fish; it was either that or Gnarly Burps, which was also suggested...) and it was 1430 before we headed off to the road to hitch.
After an hour on the roadside with no shade and with the thermometer reading 41 degrees we decided to give it up as a bad job. Not wanting a bout of heat stroke, back to the campground we went where more pop was followed by a fantastic meal, not to mention more chatting. Okiegirl and Jackielope are my favourite trail angels of the day.
With the continuing need to pick up our parcel, we'll be here now until tomorrow night. We'll resume attempts go get into town in the cool of the morning, but won't then be able to walk out until the day cools down.
There are certainly worse places to be!
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