Sand, Sun, Rocks… Repeat


Yesterday’s cool mountains were just a tease; today the trail plunged right back into the Mojave furnace, and I spent 23 miles slogging through pea-gravel sand without shade besides the occasional Joshua Tree or flyover fighter jet.

I crawled under a Joshua for two hours in mid-afternoon, and quickly discovered its soft-looking leaves might as well be bristling steak knives, drawing blood wherever they poked. It sure gave me extra appreciation for the Loggerhead Shrike nest I found in a Joshua Tree earlier in the day, holding two well-protected nestlings. How the birds manage not to skewer their eyes out, I’ll never understand.

I should hit Kennedy Meadows on June 22nd, where the desert officially ends and the Sierras begin, at mile 700. Bring on the snow – I’m ready for it.

5 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    My son thru hiked the PCT in 2005 and ever since when summer comes around I look at the PCT web site and find a hiker that sparks my interest and follow their journey. You’re the one this year! Loved your birding interest that leads you on the path to interesting places. My son is in Denali National Park working this summer so the quest continues. Wish you the best on the PCT and the rest of your adventures through life. Hike on!

  2. Anon.
    Anon. says:

    I was pleased to find your journal on the PCTA site a couple days ago. I am looking forward to following your progress to Canada and have already shown your blog to several other people. You are a good writer and photographer. I will be praying for you.

  3. Pam Otley
    Pam Otley says:

    Interesting about the potentially lethal Joshua Trees. Way to keep slogging it out in the desert! That is so smart to have that sun-shade umbrella.

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