Day 7 - 25 miles
I wake just before my alarm and get up to a damp tent and sleeping bag - condensation. I pack up and I'm hiking for 5:45. I eat an apple and muffins as I walk. The sun is already up and makes an appearance over the sleeping valley, a layer of low hanging cloud hovers over the greenery. I walk following the trail bend round the mountains curves and suddenly smell incense. I see Robyn warming up in the sunlight sitting inside his little encampment. He's burning coils of incense to he insects away.
"You're up early" he says smiling at my eagerness
"I want to beat the sun"
I wave goodbye and hike on. I want to get to the next decent water source by midday so I can wait out the midday heat with a drink. It's 16 miles away so I've got to get a wiggle on. I stop by a water tank supplied by a trail angel and top up my water and brush my teeth. The heat is really beginning to pick up now and my brain begins to count down the miles one by one.
7 miles, 6 miles, 5, 4, 3.5, 3,
I take a break in the shade and down a liter. My feet are so hot and have swelled due to the heat. I let them breath and eat a king-sized packet of Doritos. I haven't peed yet which isn't good. I check my GPS and guide book. 3 miles to go. I heave my pack back on and hike out the last hour. The next water was Tule spring and 400 yards off the trail. I keep an eye out for a turning and followed a path down the hill hoping it to be the correct one. I then find 2 girls waiting out the heat. One from Canada and one from Chicago. We swap the usual trail talk and I fill up 2 water bottles and join them waiting out the heat. I yard-sale my stuff in the heat and am amaze to find that it's already dry from the intense heat regardless of being trapped in my bag.
After a little while I manage to pee and 3 other hikers join us; 2 of which are hoping to complete the PCT in 3 months = 30 miles a day! They obviously don't hang around for long and chill for 15 mins before jetting off again. I complete my chores, camel up and then hike off again. I manage to pee again! It's 15 miles to Paradise Cafe which is where I want to be tomorrow. From there I'll try to hitch-hike to Idyllwild as a small section of the trail is closed due to a forest fire there last year. I hike on and somehow manage to catch and pass the three hikers. I motor through the next 10 miles, giving me an easy 5 mile hike tomorrow morning. I'll even get a lie-in as the cafe doesn't open till 8 am. I'm that deep in my thoughts that I pass by a little black snake and don't realize it's there till I hear it tumble from it's hiding place. It tumbles down the midi bank and stays coiled up protectively. We stare at each other under I move on. I reach my 10 miles and bed down in a cove of trees. I fall asleep with ease hearing the yell of coyotes somewhere out in the wilderness. I have a lovely view over the entire valley. I watch it in the twilight as the sun has just set.