Mile 115 to campsite on Coombs Ridge, mile 129
What a difference a morning without blister care makes in a day on the trail! So much more free time - sometimes wonderful, and others, just more time to think about all the other aches and woes. Broke camp and hit the trail by 6:15, I think the earliest yet!
The hiking was quite beautiful for most of the day, but also still in the desert, so quite hot. Got water from a questionable source at mile 117, but unfortunately there was no other choice, as the next on trail water wasn't for 10 miles. By around 11, I was boiling and my feet started hurting, so we found a spot under a huge boulder to have lunch and while away the hot afternoon hours. It's funny to be settling into this routine of waking early, hiking, followed by mid day breaks, and afternoon/evening hiking to end the day. When things get tough, I try to remind myself of my work/life schedule of not SO long ago. This ain't too bad in comparison!
My loneliness seemed to get better today, although I still find myself contemplating what the heck I'm doing out here (especially in those long stretches with no shade and hot weather!) There's a group of people hiking around our pace the last few days who seem really fun. I could definitely see becoming friends with them! There's a trail angel named Mike Herrera who provides water to hikers at his home near mile 127, and we stopped in there and spent the afternoon with the other hikers and had such fun. I'm definitely feeling the need for new friends! Most people at the stop were enjoying some beer, but after a long day of hiking and the prospect of more miles ahead, both Brett and I passed - a rare occurrence indeed!
We made it the last few miles up the mountain to an awesome campsite right on the ridge. Enjoyed a beautiful sunset and even had 3G to make a few calls home. All in all a success, but went to sleep dreading the alarm clock the next morning!