Oh goodness, what a brutal day.
written May 6, 2017 @ 02:31 AM after hiking 24.93 miles
The day started off with a 11-mile, 9,000-foot descent to the desert floor. Now, a quick point of clarification: anyone who tells you that going downhill is easier is mistaken. It isn't.
Once we finally got off the mountain, we had to cross the valley floor. Easy, right? Ha.
Not only was it loose sand, but the storm was starting to roll into the valley, which meant battling ridiculously strong winds for 5.5 miles until we sought refuge in the I-10 underpass.
Leaving that, though, meant another 9 miles of battling the wind, but this time it was up on ridges -- definitely not an even playing field.
Eventually, though, I reached the bottom of the valley, which was home to a wilderness preserve. The rangers here let thru-hikers stay in the day use picnic grounds overnight, which is super nice of them. They even let me cowboy camp (no tent) under the pavilion so my tent wouldn't get wet. All I had to do was sleep through like 30+ mph winds ...