Day 5 was the start of a really dry stretch, as well as being very exposed to the heat with little shade. It was really tough. Steve and I both have blisters and trying to find the right treatment as nothing seems to be working at the moment. Steve has popped most of his and paints liquid skin on over it which is terribly painful and I just hope it doesn’t get infected. Its difficult to keep walking despite the pain.
We woke up at 5:30 to watch the sunrise, totally worth it! It was beautiful. We packed up and started walking towards our next water spot which was in 3 miles. Once we got there, I prepared breakfast while Steve walked down to get our water. We ate quickly and headed off for a steep decline of about 4 miles(not so good on the knees!), we pushed hard to get down the mountain and only stopped at the bottom once we found a shady spot to dry out our feet. We both popped our earphones on to help us get there, music can make a big difference when you are struggling. By then it was HOT! And we were about to start another big uphill towards Rodriguez spur where we could get more water.
As the climb commenced, Steve was just putting his earphones back on and he almost stepped on a diamond back rattle snake. This was the first time we saw one, and it got more of a fright than he did and only started rattling once it was sliding away in a hurry. That gave us some extra adrenaline to walk up the hill. On the way we noticed a wide variety of cacti and most of them were in bloom, which was lovely. Steve was struggling and going really slow, and I kept racing ahead and waiting every few minutes. and finally we arrived at our water destination, desperate for some shade. The first thing we noticed was Animal hanging out under his tarp, he looked totally relaxed, with probably the largest bit of shade available! We hung out there until early afternoon and started another long trek up a hot and dry mountain.
Animal joined us for the last few miles of our hike that day, walking along slowly behind us telling us stories about plants and alcohol. We actually walked our longest day to get as close to Scissors crossing as we could, and we walked 18.5 miles (29.8kms) and camped right at the bottom of the mountain. This set us up quite well for a nice level walk to Scissors in the morning.
We hitched to Julian in the morning and had a lovely morning there. We were finally able to connect with family, and we went to Mom’s for free pie. This was my first taste of American pie and I had apple and cherry pie and it was amazing! After that we hung out at Carmen’s for a foot soak, pigged out on Chinese food and got some laundry done- what a luxury. And at about 4pm we hitched back to Scissors to start a long nasty uphill. We literally hiked up a mountain that could only sustain cacti because of how dry it was. We planned to get to the 3rd gate water cache which was in about 14 miles, but our feet were so sore and we had to go slow. We had many breaks, and after sunset, the full moon came out and at 9pm we couldn’t go on any further and cowboy camped at mile 86.6. We were too tired/full from lunch for dinner and fell asleep quickly, unfortunately the bright full moon woke us up many times. We are looking forward to Warner Springs so we can rest our feet!