Day 26 (Pete)

Travel quote for today courtesy of Uncle Dewey, “All journeys begin in the same way. All travel is a form of gradual self-extinction.” -Shiva. I have no initial idea as to what that means. It is precisely why I like it.

Siesta time on this second day of the four day feast. So far this segment is living up to its title with gusto. Yesterday afternoon we set out as it cooled on a seven something mile trek over a ridge to our next water and camp. After cooking a trail side feast under glowing pink clouds, we stumbled, by head lamp, about two miles to a sufficient resting spot. Our head lamps fully burn their two AA batteries after two hours use. So, we must be more conscious regarding their necessity. Last nights trail was steep, sandy, and curvy. Our bumbling may not have been an efficient use of our limited resources.

This morning was surprisingly nice. The vast expanse of the Mojave Desert’s flat plain lies always in sight. We are fortunately clinging to a 5,000 foot ridge. There are trees and shade, breeze and green grass. After an easy, yet time consuming, detour for water, we are still in good standing to make the desert floor around dark. Perhaps we will try traveling on the flat roads for awhile at night. Water spots are far apart we know. After this evening that is all we know. For the next two days our guide book will be of no use as the trail has been rerouted since its publication. We have assumed that the trail would certainly not be rerouted to avoid water. regardless, we must be conservative and carry twice as much as usual. Two gallons. Sparingly enough for two people over twenty miles and one camp.

Crossing ridges perpendicular to their direction of travel has come to be called, “Ridge hopping.” It is something we are doing a lot of as we gradually make way down toward the desert floor. Although such crossings don’t always feel like a “hop” the use of such a light-minded term implies new attitudes regarding our relationship to fairly large amounts of physical space. The packs are now appendages. When they are heavy we say, “We are heavy.”

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