Miles - 10
It feels so good to sleep in and chill. I inevitably wake before the crack of dawn but relish at the decision to stay here till after the midday heat. Roadrunner heads off early and a freight train speeds by at 4am and coyotes yell and cry in the distance. Poptart left the night before, determined to keep her miles high. We were all awake by 5 am, I can hear Walken and Puss in Boots chatting away loudly, Noah appears having slept in the bushes nearby. We chill pleased not to be in a rush to go.
We chat, eat, stretch, got for showers again, wait for the shop to open and be happy. We head to the shop when it opens and I buy some food then we are offered food; a lot of pancakes to be exact from the boy scouts. There were three large trays of them with fruit and milk and orange juice so good. I had 6 then I had a few more later and free cake. So much food….. It’s so hot, pushing 40℃ so we just spend the day relaxing or rather wilting in the shade. I nap and vaguely plan things. Hikers roll in and a few roll out. I’m trying to push it as far as I can to avoid the heat. I eventually say bye to people and head out at half 3 and its still so hot.
Pussin boots over takes me and I flag behind, a few miles in and I lay down in the shade of the hill side and just lay on the trail. I’m so knocked out by the heat and the direct sun light. I eventually head up and climb over the hill. Thankfully it’s beginning to get cooler. I enter Vasquez rocks where a few things were filmed like Star trek and The Flintstones. It's awesome but not as awesome as entering permanent shade. The names of plants are sign posted along the way and the rocks are funky shapes and have many layers within them. I have about 4 miles left to go and enter a cool drain pipe.
I make it out and head up into Aqua Dulce known as Sweet water and take a short cut but a road isn’t there so I end up walking an extra mile. I road walk and eventually get to the grocery store. Everyone, the couple, Gummibear and Puss in boots are eating dinner. I buy my food at the store and quickly pack it into my bag. We fill our water and decided to camp next to the grocery store on the sandy land there. It’s still really warm from the day and the night is starry.
>>I can’t quite put my finger on it and don’t think I’ll ever be able to be but there is something about hiking or maybe just moving under your own steam from one place to the other and sleeping in the dirt, surrounded by good company. Even with your own company I find it rewarding. As I lay there that night I felt at one with everything. Even though I was sleeping on some disused land, next to the shops as cars drove by through the town. It felt completely normal and right and the stars were immense that night. I lay there watching them as I slowly fell asleep.