let me start this post off with a question: How many times a year do you think it rains in the Mojave Desert? Well my guess is not many. I can honestly say that I was there when it did though! Not only did it rain, but frigid cold winds whipped across the valley. It was miserable and not the desert experience I was expecting.
It started when we left Hiker Town on Sunday night. Hiker Town is a great little stop right at the beginning of the Mojave Desert stretch, where hikers can relax, get water, and even stay the night. We got there in mid-afternoon and just stayed a few hours to relax before we took off to night hike the 20 mile stretch through the Mojave that follows the LA aqueduct. We hiked until about midnight and decided we too tired to go any further, so we found a great spot to lay out our bags and space camp (formally known as cowboy camping, but we renamed it because we are not cowboys and as you lay in your bag you look up at space, lol). I woke up at 2:30am to a slight sprinkle of rain on my face, which was strange because there were no clouds in the sky for miles. The wind was just howling so much, it was pushing it over. I fell asleep and awoke once again about 3:00am to full on rain, soaking my goose-down sleeping bag. So I got up and somehow managed to pitch my tent in record time, in the strong winds. Morning rolled around and the rain nor the wind had stopped yet, but we got up anyway and began hiking again. It was terribly cold and there was fresh snow from the night in the mountains, no more than 1,000ft above us. It rained on and off all day, making for a long, miserable, cold Mojave adventure. Honestly, an adventure I'd like to never experience again!
Don't fear though, I did survive and made it to Tehachapi CA. A full service desert town, where I will resupply for the next 6 days or so that it will take for me to hike to Kennedy Meadows: The gateway to the Sierras! My mind is a mess at the moment, trying to figure out how my resupplies will work up in the high Sierras. Many of the supply points are still closed due to record snow fall this year. It's crazy thinking about mass amounts of snow, when I am still here in the desert. There are so many things that can and will go wrong, but I know everything will eventually work out in the end. I'm nervous and excited, just another leg of my adventure...
In my last big post, I mentioned how I think about food constantly. And believe me, that hasn't changed. It is amazing the amount of food a small guy like me can put down with a big hiker appetite. So I wanted to touch on the subject of what I've been eating on the trail. Variety is key when you eat fairly simple food constantly, so I try and mix it up whenever I can. Meals usually consist of one or more of the following items:
- Pop tarts
- Hostess Pastries (Honeybuns, Streusel Cakes, etc)
- Granola w/ dried milk
- Oatmeal w/ dried fruits
- Carnation Instant Breakfast Shakes
- Candy Bars (Snickers, Payday, Baby Ruth)
- Fruit Snacks
- Granola Bars
- Clif Bars
- Drink Mixes (Gatorade, Kool-aid, Iced tea)
- Candy (Skittles, Gummies)
- Trail Mix
- Bread (Tortillas, flatbread, bagels)
- Cheese (Sticks, blocks, pre-sliced)
- Meat (Summer sausage, Salami, Jerky)
- Knorr Instant Sides (formally lipton, come in varieties of rice, pasta, and noodles.)
- Mac and Cheese
- Meat (Tuna, Salmon, Spam, Bacon bits)
- Hot Chocolate
Well that is about it for now. Time to do some shopping for my next weeks worth of food and of course get some more grub to eat while I'm here. Can't wait to get back on the trail and begin my last stretch towards the Sierras. Kennedy Meadows will be my last stop in Southern California, and then it's on to Central California. I'm at about mile 560 right now, which puts us just over the 1/5 mark of the entire trip. Time is starting to fly. Thanks for following everyone, I love you and miss you all a lot. Keep up the comments!