Day 14: the swimming hole of our dreams

May 8
Mileage 25
Mile 292.5 to mile 317.5

We wake before dawn in our campsite in the trees (it was around freezing during the night but I was toasty on my magic, magic neoair!) and eat a little breakfast, blearily pack our things away, set out before the sun has cleared the hills. The trail slopes gently down until Cajon Pass and so it is with great regret that we leave the leafy forest behind and descend again into the hot, blistering desert. There is a consolation prize, however- deep creek, which is also and/or becomes the mojave river, making its wide cool way between the canyon walls. We can see it below us and then there’s a dusty little side trail switchbacking down and we follow it to the swimming hole of our dreams. The cold water collects in still, seemingly bottomless pools, and there is even a rock to jump off of. I swim, eat snacks (I brought too much sweet/not enough salty this section and so I am so, so sick of my food) and then lay on the warm rock without sunscreen and almost fall asleep. Then it’s time to hike and I push on, even though it’s way hot now and my hiking boner is long gone. We follow lush little deep creek to its sad fate in a massive concrete dam and then switchback up into the moisture-sucking hills. Evening finds us laid out in our bedrolls like sardines near a small spring, the air warm, our friend The Wind moving through the scrub oak. We talk excitedly about what we’re going to order at the mcdonald’s at cajon pass tomorrow afternoon; the hiker hunger is strong within us now and we are so. fucking. hungry.

Pain/body update: the skin between my big toe and the toe next to it is cracked and splitting, through many layers of skin, to the point that it’s bloody- toe sock injury?! And my legs are covered in a blotchy, itchy rash. Never a dull moment on the trail! Otherwise holding up magnificently.

Sad news!! McButter, aka the most clever and entertaining person alive, has some pain that may or may not be shin splints, and is getting off the trail tomorrow at Cajon Pass to get it checked out. McButter has so far provided near constant comic relief, and things on the trail just won’t be the same without him. Hopefully a few days’ rest do wonders and he is back with us before too long!!

Photos on instagram

3 thoughts on “Day 14: the swimming hole of our dreams

  1. You sound strong and healthy. Cheers!

    I’m interested in the cause of your toe issue. Are you wearing Injinji socks? I am not used to wearing them myself but I thought I would give them a try. But damage between the toe is why I would wear them. So, is it the socks? Thanks.

  2. Other people may have have other afflictions, but cracking between my toes is inevitably athlete’s foot. Maybe pick up a tube of Tinactin (I keep some in my med kit as I know I’m prone to it).

  3. Carrot do you have no chemicals on yr bod at all when you swim somewhere? Like, no deodorant, nothing? The Leave No Trace stuff I’ve been reading for next year doesn’t specify, but I’ve told the friend who’s hiking a few weeks with me that we can’t wear anything…..what about sunscreen though? I notice your long-sleeved shirt….the way to go?

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