Day 12

12 miles hiked! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

226.2 total
’round midnight two night hikers pass me where I am sprawled out right.next.to.the.trail.  It’s Dustin and Last Minute (aka 5.8 baseweight boy).  They also are doing a little night hiking, apparently with more energy than me.  I skip and slide the rest of the night as the site I picked is actually not flat at all?  Oh well.  

By 4:30 I wake for good.  I delay the inevitable for a few, but by 5 I’m on the trail again (admittedly not hard as it was located 6 inches from me).  I am still sooooo slooooow, so I keep pausing to take super necessary wind turbine photos and obviously not resting at all.  Maybe I will use this for my facebook background (this would be funny to a handful of peopke/I am so focking ironic/too square/hikertrash to be a hipster.

I get out of the wind farm proper and there is a massive uphill.  More molasses.  Finally I get over the ridge.  Well, it never cooled down last night, it’s supposed to be over 100 F again today, F it, I’m hanging at Whitewater Preserve and staying in the shade, with water, charging my stuff.  It’s only 4 miles there from where I slept, so, more photos!

I pass Last Minute who is passed out on top of a ridge.  He doesn’t move when I go by, but when I am atop the next ridge I can see he’s gotten up.  Well, more pictures!

I approach the side trail for Whitewater and am on the premises before 7:30.  Wow.  There’s picnic tables, a pavilion, nice restrooms, a big visitor’s center.  I didn’t take any pictures of it tho, sorry guys!  Haha.  The place isn’t open for a bit.  I see Dustin along with some other hikers, they are all leaving.  Whaaa?  It’s a perfect place to crash during the heat, and it’s already hot.  Oh well, I’m’a take advantage of this.  I eat some tuna, olive oil, chips, chocolate.  My food has leaked pepperoni oil on it, it’s kinda gross.

I blow up my sleeping pad and nap on the bench off and on.  When I hear the rangers come in I spy on them, they are all carrying reusable coffee mugs.  Drat, I was hoping they might make coffee and I could yogi some.  I go in and ask if I can charge, they are down with that, super friendly.  Later I ask one of them about my wildlife sightings- the scorpion is not deadly and the snake is probably a juvenile kingsnake, it should develop into more of a white and black banded display.  The ranger said it was kind of rare to see that particular one, it’s not the normal California one.

Charlie comes in later, he’s the only other one for hours.  I avoid talking too much by napping, I guess we’re both reasonably beat.  His was the tent at the wind farm last night.  A huge group of middle schoolers comes, I move further away to nap.  Off and on I try to yogi from visitors but no luck.  Later the other guy with an umbrella comes, we are all not leaving until late afternoon.  Even more people come after noon, but they only stay for an hour or two.  I go into the wading pool in my underwear, talk with a biker who said the center used to be a trout farm years ago, he is in support of Trump getting rid of national monuments and such so he can get more fish.  

I finally leave around 5.  Even though it’s flat I am not moving fast.  I get to the PCT Whitewater crossing, I’m not 100% sure where to cross, but I find the trail eventually.  So wild to have this water in this desolate area; parts of it remind me of the Panj on the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

As the sun goes down and wind picks up a bit I make a little more progress.  One last set of switchbacks and I am atop the ridge, can start grooving.  I round a corner and, whaaa!  Rattlesnake, on basically a vertical wall.  WTF.  I move on out of there, sorry, no photo guys.  

I make some miles and finally start heading down to Mission Creek, which the PCT crosses numerous times.  I pull out my light on the final descent, see a big hairy spider.  Tarantula, ahhhhh!  I get down to the river where there’s a ton of campsites, don’t feel up to navigating the river crossings, and set up a cowboy camp under a tree.  Well, win some, lose some.  Hopefully more miles tomorrow, at least I was pretty cool all day.

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