By far my hardest day yet. The trail twisted through barren foothills inside the massive Anza-Borrego State Park, winding and roller-coasting ever deeper into unrelenting desert. I didn’t see another person or even a tree until mid-afternoon, by which time the baking sun was like a sledgehammer dangling above my morale; the hammer fell somewhere during a seven-mile stretch of incomprehensible climbs and descents, and I spent the rest of the afternoon in a very dark mood.
I think that this trip is much tougher mentally than physically, especially doing it alone. My dad met me at day’s end and we’re staying at a nearby motel in Borrego Springs, which helps (he’ll stick around to meet me in Warner Springs day after tomorrow). And I put in 21 hard miles today – hope they get easier as I roll north!