Day 19 - Redwoods to Cacti in a Day

Not far from my campsite was a water source on the side of the road, a happy little stream. I continued too far on Black Mountain Road, missing the PCT and starting to get into some snow on the road on the north side of the road. Ian texting me on GPS, asking about the hat I wanted from Amazon. It was a hat I've been wearing on all our trips, so I thought he had it, but men don't remember what women wear. When he texted me, I was figuring out whether I had gone too far, so it just struck me at a bad time and I was annoyed. I backtracked to the PCT, and it felt so good to be back on the trail.
I met Stephanie from Italy and Adam from Poland after an hour on the trail. Today, is the day of descent, the biggest downhill on the whole PCT. The views were great, but I missed the water at mile 194, I later learned it was off trail. It was a long way to water when I realized my mistake, and I had 1 liter left and 11 miles to go. So, I decided I better just keep moving, only taking short breaks. The wind was blowing hard in places.
In a sunny spot, all of a sudden, there was an angry, breathy rattle to my right. A rattlesnake quickly running into a bush. All I saw was it's rattling tail retreating.

There was a tiny stream puddle, not running and filled with algae, looked gross but I filled up anyway. Better than going thirsty and chemical treatment will take care of it. Soon I came to a large rock hanging over the trail, it looked a lot like a giant nose. I stopped in the shade it provided, standing there and looking at my phone for the Guthook's app. Insects were buzzing around, and then one stung me! I moved pretty quickly away from that spot.

With the long descent, the terrain had changed from redwoods to cacti in a day. There is so much difference in the landscape and the vegetation from day to day here. I could see a wind farm below, getting closer and closer. The small town of Cabazon and the busy I-10 interstate were also below. You could watch the long trains go by on the tracks below.

I got to the good water at mile 204. I was so tired from that long day, I just sat down and ate my dinner first thing. Giggles asked me if I was alright. "Yes, I just need to eat." I met a couple from South Carolina and a guy from Georgia. There were five guys hiking together, wearing identical clothes. I tried to get water, but the wind was blowing so hard, the water would miss your bottle when it gusted.
There were lots of hikers already there, and not many tent spaces left. I found a spot on the gentle ridge, windy, but big enough for cowboy camping. I was snuggled up between a rock and a bush.

It was very windy, a good night for cowboy camping. The wind blowing on the tent can keep you from sleeping unless you're extremely tired. I started watching the clouds rolling into the valley not far below. The tall mountains seem to block this spot, so I hoped for no rain. My Delorme gave a 10% chance of rain until midnight. In the desert that's no chance, but it still made me nervous.
Today was my second longest day yet; 18 miles. Plus, it was after my longest day yesterday of 19.5 miles.


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