Slow start

Day 41 – 5/23/15
.5 before Golden Oaks Spring
Miles – 16.2
Total Miles – 607.2 (PCT 582.6)

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We woke up this morning to partially sunny skies. No rain like yesterday morning. It was a lazy, slow morning getting ready to get back on the trail. There was not much to do since we got most everything done yesterday.
Since it was Saturday, there was only one morning bus back to the trail and it did not leave until 9:28, so we had a little bit of waiting to do. Of course the bus was late. We finally started to hike at 10:30.
Our next water was in 17 miles. With such a late start we knew we would not make it all the way to the water source, although we would try to get as close as possible. This section is the driest section on the PCT. Every water source will be 17 to 20 miles apart with one section being a dreaded 31 miles. Our main objective, for the next 8 days, is to get to the next water source.
The trail went right next to Hwy 58 for several miles and then it turned away and headed up hill. We climbed 2500′ in about 4 miles. This would not normally be that hard but we have a full load of water and 8 days of food. Our packs were extra heavy! To make matters worst, we have not hiked in four days. They were necessary days off for the weather to clear and for Mama Raven’s feet to heal. However, when you take a long break it is hard to get hiking again. Your body just does not want to go. Nonetheless, we hiked up to the top of our next set of mountains. The trail then did what it always does. It goes from mountain top to the next mountain top crossing at a gap and trying to stay as high as it can and working it’s way back along the range. As we got to the top, the wind came up. It was a strong and terribly cold wind. Many times Papa Raven had to hold Little Crow’s pack to keep her from being pushed off the trail. Often times even Papa Raven and I were pushed off the trail too. The four of us staggered on and off the trail as we hiked up the mountain. One gust was so strong that it knocked over one of the people we were hiking with. Even as this is being written, the wind is blowing strong over the ridge, but tonight we have some protection by some trees. With the cold temperatures (40°) and strong winds we had today, we are so glad we decided to stay the extra day in the hotel to wait out the bad weather. The conditions would have been miserable yesterday to come up to the higher elevations. Yesterday we felt guilty for taking another day off, but today that guilt is replaced with relief.
After reaching the top, the trail worked its way back along the mountain range. We made some distance between us and the Mojave Desert. We are hoping by pulling away from the desert, the wind will lesson. We have only one mile to the next water. We will be there first thing tomorrow morning to fill up. The next water after that is 19 miles away. There is no water to waste, not even for washing socks. It will be nice to get to the Sierras where water will not be an issue. While we had dinner tonight, we were visited by Laura and Darrin (aka Sunnyside Up and Over Easy), who we have not seen in three weeks. We were happy to see them again. Sunnyside Up (Laura) had to take some time off for an injury to her feet. Hopefully she is healthy enough to keep going on. Also Gi Gi caught up with us while we had dinner. We had not seen her for three weeks either. We bumped into her in the hotel in Tehachapi. Her husband came down from Northern California to take her away to Las Vegas for a few days. It was good to see our friends again.

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