Today has been a mix.
Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn, I figured I’d try another approach: sleep in, have a coffee in town, and wait until 1PM to set off. It wasn’t going to be so hot today, anyway.
It felt pretty good, I must admit.
It was nice to sleep in a little and take my time this morning, to chill out with Kristen again (the same waitress as yesterday) and leisurely chat with the hikers that came through.
I updated the blog, sent out a few messages, souped up my phone with some battery and finally meandered forwards again.
The other day another hiker jokingly asked if I was a hippie because I live just out of Byron Bay.
I told her I’m not, but I did have a moment this afternoon where it was pretty satisfying peeing out in the open, with this view.
And then I turned a corner, and came across this view.
So that’s the desert.
It’s a pretty intimidating sight, especially after the heat we’ve already had and my thinking that I’ve already crossed some of it.Apparently not.But then came an even bigger intimidation: the PCT Water Report.
This is a document that all hikers should basically live by out here. Technically, we do.
It tells us where every water source is, and how reliable it is, as updated by hikers that have gone through already and texted in.
This is a part of the section I was facing across the next two days.
I had received the update from maybe an hour previous, and glad I did: after the faucet 2km ahead, I would face a 47km stretch of dry creeks and empty tanks.
I am facing that.
I’ve been doing crazy math about how far my water capacity can stretch, and how many kilometres I expect to cover, and it’s more scary than that view of the impending desert.
I GET TO THE FAUCET AND HAVE TO FACE A SWARM OF BEES.
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!
I’m facing my fears out here, alright.
Here’s where I’m at now:
I’ve got nine litres.
So if I ration a litre for every six km’s, I should have more than enough.
I’ve been lying under a tree here for an hour now, and will leave for the next stretch at 6PM.
My plan is to hike the stretch through the night as much as I can, sleep for a few hours and hike again before dawn. I guess I shall reach that 47km mark by tomorrow night.
I’m with three others who are all also stocked up, and ready to go.
We’ve all got phones and GPS and there is a road about halfway that we can hitchhike from if things get desperate.
The desert is real hey.
I’ll update you on pt. II when I survive it.