Mile reached: 109.5 (+22.7)
High: The plan worked!
Low: Realizing that I’m going to keep outpacing most everyone that I meet.
People from day 1 within 10 mi: 4
Time it took me to set up my tent in the wind: Longer than I’m willing to admit
My first night sleeping in a tent went well despite the wind. I had set up camp so late that I had opted not to cook the previous night’s dinner. So, I ate macaroni and cheese for breakfast, which turned out to be less satisfying than I had hoped. I quickly packed up camp and hit the trail.
Fortunately, the wind had died down and was now just a constant breeze as opposed to the gale force winds of the previous days. The weather was actually beautiful for this section. The storm was beginning to break and the temperature was cool, if not cold. I actually ended up using only 3 of the 5 liters I carried. All I could think is how much this section must suck in 90 degree heat. It was also fascinating to watch the vegetation change as I traversed the range. Eventually, the desert shrub gave way to chaparral and finally oaks. The crest must push further east pulling the northern end of the San Felipe Hills out of the desert.
With most everyone holed up in Julian, I only saw three other hikers the whole day. One of them, Greg (also from day 1), has taken it upon himself to name me. He thinks it’s going to have to do with how fast I am. Ironically, maybe he won’t be able to keep up with me long be enough to actually do this.
The last few miles of the day were a lot of fun. The terrain opened up into oaks and grassland replete with cows. I finally got to see Eagle Rock firsthand, which lived up to expectations. I finished for the day in Warner Springs where I encountered surprisingly few hikers, who had all started a day or two before me. Allegedly, this storm has brought snow to Idyllwild, which might make traversing San Jacinto more exciting.