Day 31 (Pete)

The amount of walking we have done is almost incomprehensible to me.

We set out on our first full day with the ridiculously heavy load. It didn’t seem to slow us down so much. The miles that we did do were just painful. My feet are like the archetypal two kids in the back seat, “Are we there yet? How far have we gone?” At least its not my belly this time. In fact, I really can’t remember being hungry once today. The heavily laden packs are just wonderful for meal times. They make great seats and contain a treasure trove of goodies. It’s really unfortunate that we have to transport them from place to place during the between meal times.

These mountains are really pretty. There are thick and fluffy gray tinged clouds perpetually overhead. We are anticipating our first real weather. It never rained last night though it seemed immanent. Water from the sky would be an interesting change. This may shape up to be my favorite section since before the tour of industry. The San Gabriels were more rugged. More used and more smoggy as well.

We came to the unfortunate conclusion at lunch that both our water filters are too clogged to use. It is daunting as we must, somehow, provide purified water for ourselves for the next six days. An initial, and extremely depressing, suggestion was to return sixteen miles to Mojave call mom and wait for it to arrive in the mail. Thankfully, a much better plan was proposed. We would simply boil all of our water. It will take a lot of fuel and time but seems to be the best solution to the problem. We tried it at dinner by adding extra water to that we boiled for our food. The excess of hot cocoa mix we picked up in town did the trick and tasted even better with heavy cookies to dip in it. We’re beginning, slowly but surely, to eat our way out from under our burden. Eating food is now simply referred to as, “Eat weight.”

We keep having to contend with these mistakes. None have really set us back though. It is intense to have the availability of a basic building block of daily survival come into jeopardy. Yet, it is empowering to be forced to improvise in order to solve the problem. We agreed today that a problem is only as bad as you let it be. If you are really going to let something drag you down then you will have a big problem. Otherwise, with a good attitude, chances are you can make do and be fine. After all, the hot cocoa was a tasty treat.

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