/ˈzēˌrō/
(noun)
  1. No quantity or number; naught; the figure 0.
  2. A day in which no miles are hiked.

Wind, wind, and more wind

written May 6, 2017 @ 02:31 AM after hiking 24.93 miles

Oh goodness, what a brutal day.

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.

Yeah, we're going all the way down there.

But hey, I crossed 200 miles!

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.

Racing the storm -- can I hike faster than a cold front?

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.

At least it was pretty.

Like, really pretty.

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 ...