Day 43: (14.16 miles)
mile 630.85 – 645.01
We awake a little late (0630) and it’s already getting warm. We are still exhausted, but the impending climb of over 1600 ft in 3 miles on 4 hours of sleep is not going to get done on its own, and the Sherpa I dreamed I ordered on Amazon last night has not arrived. Pack up, get a move on. Back on autopilot. We shuffle up, mainly so we can go down…again. The views are amazing…almost worth it. So up we go and based on yesterday’s performance and terrain we take 5 liters of water with us. Although heavy we are gun shy and are afraid to be without water again. Today’s forecast is supposed to be hotter than the day before, so high ninety’s and we know the desert shows no mercy on hikers. Half way up the big climb we met a woman and her tall poodle dog (think Great Dane with an afro) section hiking to Walker Pass. Kathy, a retired school teacher, had done over 2300 miles over the past thirty years and planed to finish “before I die”, she said. Her dog, Sultan has walked over 500 miles of the trail with her and even carried his own back pack. She said it was tough section hiking because just when you found your groove, you had to stop. We saw Kathy and Sultan several times as we leap frogged one another throughout the day.
This was a very tough day as our legs were extremely tired from last night’s marathon and after the steep climb we were shot. Both are feet were unhappy and speaking in “tongues” to us, and I also have started feeling pain in my right shin and think shin splints are beginning to develop. Ouch!! We forged ahead taking more and more breaks trying to be positive that we can do 20 miles today and reach Walker Pass, but to no way Jose, we are too tired and only make just under 15 miles before surrendering. Hitching to Lake Isabella, a hotel and a restaurant meal will have to wait till tomorrow. It’ s only 5pm and we find (make) a camp site next to the trail. Camp was set up and dinner prepared in nothing flat. We never saw the sunset and were asleep by 6:30pm. Never felt so good to be horizontal.