Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 3,488 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 34.5 m. of trail
Distance Traveled Total- 512.8
Weather/Temp- clear, 70s
Pain level- low
Spirits/Morale- anxious for katana
Days without shower- 5
We walked around 23 miles today, about 20 of which were all done on the road. As a consequence, we gained about 34 miles of trail.
I’ll tell ya, road walking is physically easy (besides being hard on the feet), but incredibly boring and mentally exhausting.
Besides stopping for lunch at a hotel restaurant while walking through Lake Hughes, virtually nothing exciting happened.
The highlights included walking by an ostrich farm, rescuing a baby Gopher Snake from the road, encountering a dead deer, and being given a couple of ice cold beers from an older couple sitting around in their front yard.
Katana rode my shoulders for over 16 of the 20ish road miles. The asphalt was too hot, and filled with too much debris. I let her walk around 7 pm, once we turned down a nicely paved road that had very little traffic.
We got to the trailhead at dark, and after a short break, decided to do a few more miles in the dark before pulling over and cowboy camping on the side of the trail.
We crossed the 500 mile mark today, leaving us with less than 200 miles of desert to go. I can see the end in sight for the toughest stretch of this trail; the rest will be the mental slog of walking for such a prolonged period of time, but other than that, the worst of the heat, water, and logistical problems will be behind us.
Katana’s energy levels have been good, along with her motivation to hike. Her eye is still swollen, and has developed a bit of a blue glaze to it that has me extremely worried. Tomorrow I’m planning on hiking 5 miles into the “hiker town” hostel, then seeking an emergency follow up appointment at a vet’s office. We’ll see what happens…