Ive reached hiker heaven, a beautiful refuge house for us smelly hikers. It has free laundry, hot showers, a kitchen for cooking real food, and a collection of all our friends met over the past month that miraculously ended up here at the same time. It also has a saguero cactus in the yard which is creating all kinds of pleasureable feelings. A cute cactus that doesn’t want to reach out and poke my delicate sleeping pad! Yes! Ive been waiting for you.
All this is good, but I want to get back to the woods asap so won’t write much today. Here are some photos instead: over the last hundred miles we circled around the coast and the smog of LA, through pinyon to massive california red cedar and pine, between burn zones and its poisonous poodle bush. This section was spectacular; my favourite so far. Surrounded by eager eight year old boy scouts we climbed mt baden powell in the fog and cold. There were no views, but saw the massive 2000 year old limber pine which made the spooky summit special and worth the extra meters of extra steep climb.
After the solitude of the trail, town time feels overwhelmingly loud. The desert floor is calling. Sitting feels odd today and my stomach is growling as if I was hiking, but we are only doing five miles today instead of the usual 18 or 20. The last week was cold. So, damn, cold. The temperatures hovered around freezing and the wind was whippy and harsh. Two mornings there was ice on the tarp! And they call this the desert. That said, it was perfect walking weather so we flew up the hills.With the frosty stretch behind us the flat hot mojave section up next is sounding mighty appealing. Away I go; please bring on the heat. But not too much. Desert life, never a moment of moderation.