The alarm was set for 2AM.
And after having three days off, I was 100% NOT looking forward to getting back into this.
But, the desert is brutal, and the aqua duct even more so, so, we had to beat the sun.
A group of us left at 3AM, straggling and altogether not that enthusiastic.
I was slow. First day of hiking in new shoes, and with my baaad experience in the last new shoes, I was both careful and nervous.
Leaving so early did have it’s own sort of beauty.
The miles flew by fairly fast when I couldn’t see them. Cool air and bright stars gave a magical feel to our adventure.
Yet, it wasn’t long before that cool air was a distant memory. Magical gave way to ruthless. With dry throats and dusty legs, skin still nearly burning under layers and layers of sunscreen, and threatening headaches, we made twenty eight kilometres by midday.
I should’ve taken a picture (still learning sometimes to capture moments as well as living them!) – there was a huge bridge that gave a very nice, very cool shadow on the sand beneath. Hikers were sprawled out underneath, taking solace in its protection and sleeping the blisteringly hot hours away.
Thibaud and I had some lunch and napped as well. I’ve started to prioritise different foods as necessities. My body is slowly turning off ramen, and I can feel the cravings for fresh fruits and vegetables. Even though apples, avocados, spinach, tomatoes are heavy and don’t fair too well in heat, they’re things I need to start feeding myself more. Weight is always a trade off for quality/need/comfort, and I think the weight of a few pieces of fruit is what I need to put up with at this point.
Even with leaving the shade at 4:30PM, the heat had barely backed off.
It was hot, but I was happy to be back.
I just need to keep listening to my body. There’s no point in straining myself early. There’s no point in straining myself at all! Best to take it slow and build back up… but my pride still hurts a little. It’s hard to admit that I was able to pound out 24mi before, and now I’m pretty done by 15.
I just have to remind myself: those 24 mile days weren’t easy, and I was at the end of myself. I could push out the distances, but it took 14-16 hours, and I had nothing left. That’s not what I came here for; I came for adventure and friendships and laughter as well as a challenge. If I’m empty mentally and emotionally, I won’t be laughing too much hey?
We made our way down to the valley at the bottom of this mountain, and agreed that twenty two miles were more than enough – especially after having woken up so flipping early.
The weather is still supposed to be blazing hot, so I’ll wake up early again tomorrow. Chances are, I’ll get up and leave before Thibaud, but he walks faster than me anyway, so can make up the time.
Right now, I just want to get to Tehachapi and hug Maya and Dario again as soon as I can. A shower wouldn’t go astray either 😉