Day 8 - somewhEre in anza-Borrego to Santa Rosa wildErness
April 4 | Miles 133.5 - 156.5
I woke up to cold droplets of tent condensation falling on my face. I ate my cold-soaked overnight oatmeal. I stepped out into the cold morning and stretched my aching calves. But somehow the view made it OK.
I walked through what seemed like an endless stretch of desert scrub as the sun continued to hide behind clouds.
No water was to be found. But the trail angels had been hard at work. First I came upon the “Sandy Road Oasis.”
A few short miles later, a trail angel named Mary had set up a literary-oriented spot featuring bucket showers and free books. She chooses a theme for her cache every year–this year it’s based on a work by Whitman.
She totally goes above and beyond. It was shocking to get a little bit of learnin’ in an otherwise sandy wasteland. She even has cardboard cutouts of literary figures that you can pose with. In the logbook I left a note about my special place–Rocky Point in Rowayton where I like to watch the sunset with my mom (Hi mom!!).
My afternoon motivation was the promise of fresh food at the Paradise Valley Cafe. I slogged through the hot, windy afternoon, sweating and freezing simultaneously.
Mile 150 came and went.
Before I knew it, I had ARRIVED.
The patio was overflowing with hungry people: a 20+ person Search and Rescue unit, some people on a first date, and three full tables of hiker trash. And what do you know, there were the dudes that had given me my trail name. I’d seen them in the trail registers all day so I knew they were ahead of me, and I’d seen a guy camping the night before who said he’d been with a ‘fun crew’ that had decided to push more miles. Aha! It all made sense. They had grown to an impressive total of 9 members since I last saw them in Warner Springs…the only thing this caravan was missing was a team of camels.
I sat down and ordered a Caesar salad and a beer, which I got for free, because, ya know, it was my birthday.
I ordered a burrito to go as well, but I’ll spare you the pic because it looked much less like a burrito by dinnertime, at which point I’d been carrying it for 4 hours.
I went with the flow and tagged onto the crew. The 10 of us cruised 5 more miles to a camp at the base of the San Jacintos.
Against howling winds, we bedded down for the evening as a dark mist settled upon the hills. It would be a loooong night.