PCT mile 631
There's a solid group of about 10 of us thru-hikers that have been together for about a week. We're all pulling similar mileage so were staying pretty close to one another. We may not necessarily hike together, but we usually all end up camping within a few miles of each other and hanging out together at major water resupply/rest stops.
Today's section between miles 616-631 is one of the most grueling desert sections, in my experience.
It is exactly was I would picture desert hiking to be:
-miles and miles of nothing
-loose sand (imagine walking on the beach with no ocean to enjoy)
-dry, dry, dry
-no water resupply for potentially 30 miles
Luckily, there was 7 of us that started this section within an hour of each other. Not so lucky or just asking for misery I started this section shortly after 8am. Lady Luck and I were within a quarter of a mile of each other so I could see her ahead. By the time we got 6 miles in the intensity of the heat was full blown. Lady Luck found a random picnic table to seek shade under and myself a Joshua Tree, where we rested for a half hour. Lady Luck got so hot she actually stopped to cut the sleeves off of her long sleeve sun shirt, before even reaching our resting spot, which gave me a good laugh. We were eager to get through the section so we continued on. At noon we found James and Howl resting under a Joshua Tree. From there on out all 4 of us leapfrogged each other...taking breaks as the heat was pushing us to our limits whenever a big enough Joshua Tree was found for some shade. The wind picked up and the loose sand got worse, making the last 7 miles quite tortuous. I finally made it to the water cache shortly after 4pm...Swimmer, James, Howl, and Lady Luck, already resting in the shade. I found a huge boulder that protected me from the wind and called it a day there. Shorter miles but a tough day, I wanted a longer rest and would push higher miles tomorrow. The other 5 (Hans Pilgrim came in a bit later) went on to night hike and tackle a few miles of the climb ahead of us. Later that night I was joined by The Turtles (Sea Turtle and The Tortoise) and Honey Buzz and Skipper. They hiked in after the heat of the day, but had higher winds...not sure which would be the better of the two?