Day 7: The Real Desert

Date: April 16, 2017
Miles: 71 – 86.6

“You thought you were in the desert?  You’re in the real desert now.” ~ Girl Scout

This morning Strongback found out the hard way that spiders spent the night in the toeboxes of both of his shoes. (Since then i’ve been hanging my shoes from upright trekking poles at night and shaking them vigorously in the morning…I’m not taking any chances!)

It was nice and cool at our tent site up on a hill, but we soon descended into the San Felipe valley and entered a heat zone.


At mile 77, the Scissors Crossing water cache underneath the highway overpass appeared as an oasis of Costco-sized water bottles, and soon after we arrived a trail angel named Girl Scout showed up with pop and grapefruit. I had been thinking about mangoes and nectarines for a day and a half so I was excited about the fruit. 

Lawn chairs and water! We were here for a while.


We talked to Girl Scout for a long time about the trail and then we reluctantly walked back out into the sun and towards an uphill climb. Thankfully there was a breeze, which took the edge off of the noon-time sun, but it also made using our umbrellas pointless so we baked a little. Eventually we stopped and took a siesta in a campsite until late afternoon, when it became more tolerable to move around.

Pretty proud of my makeshift siesta shelter.

From then on, we walked what felt like an endless ridge until we reached a huge campsite that we had all to ourselves. We shared chicken cous cous for Easter dinner and crashed right after sunset.  As soon as I laid down, all of my muscles started screaming at me but I was too tired to care.

According to this map, Canada is right around the corner!
We named these ‘Giant Desert Kelp.’


One Reply to “Day 7: The Real Desert”

  1. The Desert Kelp is Ocatilla plant I believe. Glad you had a safe meeting of Mr Rattlesnake. They love to sun themselves. I grew up in that country it has many contrasting areas of flora, fauna and very diverse terrain. You may even find snow before you leave So Cal

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