May 17th
Near Laguna del Cerro (445.1)-Mesa San Luis(468.5)
Today I was feeling much more energized than yesterday, but still below normal. The first task of the day was to walk to our next water source and then walk half a mile down a steep hill to get to the spring. Hikers absolutely hate having to walk off trail for any reason and this added a mile to our day, but we needed the water and didn’t have a choice. Like the idiot I am, I poured out extra water this morning to avoid carrying it and drank extra just because I had it. Then when we got to the spring, I realized the next source would have been close enough for me to skip that source. Since I absentmindedly depleted my supply, I had to make the extra trip down some steep switchbacks to the spring and back up again. That’s what I get for being lazy and not planning ahead. I mention the water source because it was a very time consuming side trip for us today and filtering large amounts of water at the source and another one later significantly cut into our hiking time. As for the hiking, I was happy that we were off the painful rocky road and back on trail most of the day. I was also happy that some of the hiking was through shaded areas from time to time.

It has been hot and midday today it was 90 degrees when I checked my thermometer. The morning seemed to drag on FOREVER and we were again in very monotonous scenery with the sun beating down. I was pretty frustrated and had accepted that the rest of this leg would be this hot, annoying, monotony.

I made sure my MP3 player was fully charged and I finished the Ellen Degeneress audiobook I started yesterday. I was surprised by how short it was and had plans to start another audiobook after lunch. When lunch came and I was relieved to hear I wasn’t the only one having difficultly. We even used the word, bored! I know we can’t expect a wow moment everyday, but for some reason the combination of it all had many of us just in a funk. We left lunch with the goal of stopping again at another spring for water. I was half that there was some short term goal to keep me motivated. We started hiking and I got my player ready and then it happened….the scenery and terrain changed dramatically for the better! We got to a viewpoint before we dropped down and this is what we saw ahead of us. It totally snapped us out of our funk!

Check out this lizard that posed perfectly for all of us too!

We are waking right through that beautiful view and it was a great second half of the day and especially evening! Before I get to that, I want to mention the spring we got water from at the end of the day…Mmmm…

This one was nice and slimy with a funny taste. Again, it took forever to filter the water and it was HOT. I also want to add that today was the most thirsty I’ve been and no amount of funny tasting warm water will quench my thirst. Our mileage for today ended up being a couple miles less than we intended and it was mostly because of the time it took to get water today. Just an aspect of hiking I don’t think I have mentioned much. Filtering water takes a long time and is tiring with the sun beating down on you. As for the rest of the day, it was great! The clouds came out and even have us a bit of a break from the sun.

The trail led us on top of a Mesa with an amazing view and the group was excited to choose it as a spot to camp. This is the view from the top looking back on where we came from.

It was really windy and exposed, so we stayed up on the Mesa and found some good trees to camp near to block the wind. I have enough signal to get some emailing done and that’s rare at camp. Just not enough signal to watch a show, darn. Such a difference from how I felt last night!

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