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Day 48: The real dry

Day 48: The real dry

Start: 608.91 Landers Camp
End: 630.84 birds spring pass
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Knowing that I potentially have 42 miles to go without a water supply is daunting. I have 8 liters total, and without a resupply that is five miles per… I have been using more water than that. A lot more. The smart answer… Hike only at night.
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We really aren’t supposed to depend on water caches out here, but it sounded pretty reliable that there would be one on a road at the 616 mark. So I left at 5:39 am this morning and was immediately wishing I had woken up two hours earlier (to avoid the sun)
I showed up at the cache and there was tons of water. I immediately guzzled over a liter with electrolyte and topped off 2.5 liters.
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There was no cover so I hiked another four miles, found some shade with big rocks but could not rest well as there was no level ground. I still have 31 miles to cover and better than 7.5 liters. Looks like I ought to be able to make it even if there is no water at the cache at mile 630. 3.5 miles per liter. The twist is that this is over two days, and you still need some water when you are sitting still…
The big rocks stopped protecting me around 1pm so I hiked another mile in my sea of sweat until I found a good tree across the trail… Cost me a liter.
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I’ve seen some new wildlife today. Lots of rabbits (not new, except more than before, think I saw eight rather than the usual 0-1) what might be little prairie dogs scampering away from me, and a larger guy that was maybe the size of a giant rat except it had a neck so it’s head was detached from the body (not a rat). Maybe some kind of marmot?
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I take it back. To heck with being a purist. WATER CACHES RULE! There is no way I could do this stretch without them.
First time I’ve done a 20 mile day since Warner springs. (109ish). My feet hurt. :p. I have a heavy 1500 climb I am not looking forward to in the morning.

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Charlie Hough
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