Today was another big road walk, but we had a bit of fun in the morning. We scrambled up the escarpment opposite La Ventura Arch and then followed a short trail down the other side. The early morning views of the arch as well as out across the lava fields were neat. After that we had a few more feet torturing miles on the highway, then onto dirt roads for the rest of the day.
We had a bit of trouble with water, as the first windmill we ran into wasn’t running. We ended up having to hike another few miles before we got to another one that was going. Apparently there are no more natural water sources on the trail. It’s going to be all solar wells and windmills. So far everything has been quite convenient, with water sources being available around lunch and dinner, minimizing how much we have to carry.
The roads are pretty rough on my feet and ankles, I was definitely hobbling towards the end of yesterday and today. An odd new plant we’ve run into is a little guy that has somewhat dandelion-like balls on it’s ends, but the stems are very sharp little spikes that work their way into your socks. We all got tons of them on us as we were off the road checking windmills. I’m talking hundreds, can’t see my sock through them around my ankles. Painful and hard to get off.
Today was also pretty hot and even a bit humid. We all had a bit of a zombie-shuffle afternoon, but perked up once the sun started going down. We hiked sans-headlamp for a bit into the night just because it was so pleasant.
Date: Oct 15, 2011
Daily Distance: 29.3 miles
Trip Distance: 2266.4 miles