Day 9

Day- 9
Date- 4-22-16
Location- Warner Springs
Elevation- 3,035
Distance Traveled Today- 8.4 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 109.5 miles
Weather/Temp- smudges of clouds/70s
Injuries- sore knees, pinky blister, heel blister
Pain level- low
Spirits/Morale- High
Days without shower- 3
Hunger/craving- low
Thoughts/Stories-

It was a chilly, yet comfortable night on the open ground.  The frogs near the spring were quite loud for most of the night, but that’s a sound I can fall asleep to. 

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We left out at 7, and Katana walked fine for almost two miles before I saw her hop,  prompting me to pick her up.  I’m taking no chances with her paw until I’m sure it’s healed.  I’m ordering her some booties,  but I’m almost positive I’ll never get her to walk in them. 

Back in stagecoach, my only pair of hiking socks mysteriously disappeared during laundry.  I was forced to buy some cheaper, thinner socks that barely fit my foot, and leave most of my Achilles heel exposed.  As a result,  my upper heel has been rubbed raw.  It doesn’t slow me down,  but it is an annoyance. 

The quick 8 miles into town was mostly through green cow pastures, and along a small Creek that ran through a gorgeous oak Grove.  These oak groves are quickly becoming my favorite part of the desert section of this hike.  I can’t get enough of them. 

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In the middle of a pasture we came across a landmark known as Eagle Rock.  I took an awesome lion King picture there.  I was briefly distracted by all the lizards that were all over these rocks,  but alas, they were too quick, and had too many hiding places for me to be able to catch one. 

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We called it an early day when we reached Warner springs,  and decided to camp at the very hiker friendly community center. Another trail angel named Roxane had left Katana and I sweet tea on ice,  roast beef,  cheese,  duck necks,  doggy power bars,  treats,  cold packs, and a very cool paracord leash.  It was an amazing gesture that meant more than she probably knows.  Little things like that go a long way out here.

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While the AT is certainly more physically challenging, this desert environment is much harsher.  The sun sucks the energy out of you, and the challenge of carrying and moderating your water intake is a mental and physical chore in itself.

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I’m now hanging from two different low hanging branches of the same oak tree. Hoping to get an early start, and 18 miles done tomorrow…

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