Into the desert; days 30-33

Day 30: Lake Hughes to Horse Camp, 22.5
Day 31: Horse Camp to PCT mile 527.5, 19.5 miles
Day 32: PCT mile 527.5 to 549, 21.5 miles
Day 33: PCT mile 549 to 566, 17 miles

We were out of Lake Hughes before sunrise, and finished the last six miles of road on the detour. We were happy to be back into the woods, and in a few quick miles back to the PCT. It was a nice day, and we were surprised to be in a cool tree lined canyon; however encountered a swarm of gnats which lasted for most of the day. They were so bad at one point, Garrett swiped vigorously at them in front of his face and knocked his sunglasses off and down into a steep ravine. We considered them lost, and soldiered on; hopeful that we’d find a new pair for him at the market the next day. Despite that, the rest of the day was good, and fortunately shaded! We also past 500 miles!

Day 31 started our descent into the desert. We’ve been in a heat wave, and the day promised to be in the high 90s. We came down from the hills, and took a break from 10am-5pm at Hikertown waiting for the heat to break. Hikertown is a great stopover run by a trail angel, and we picked-up a mail drop there, before catching a ride down to the nearby market for lunch. Garrett found sunglasses, too!

After some serious napping, we entered the desert. We made 10 flat miles along the LA aqueduct before it got dark, and we made camp.

The next morning, Garrett discovered that his pack had been infiltrated with hundreds of little ants. He hasn’t had much luck with them, as a few days ago one got under his shirt and bit him a few times before we could find the culprit. After we cleaned his pack-out, and he regained his composure, we started off.

We passed through a big wind farm, and made it to a shady spot to siesta for a few hours in the afternoon. We also saw lots of Joshua Trees!

We capped off the day gaining 3000ft of elevation, up a dry and very windy mountain. The gusts nearly knocked us over, but we made it to the top and set-up camp. The next day we got in 17 miles before 1pm, and caught a bus into Mojave for the night and to pick-up another mail drop. Back to the desert tomorrow!

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