Destination: Mile 493ish
We were on the trail by 9am, not bad considering yesterday. Apricots' brother arrived at Casa de Luna shortly after 2pm. He arrived with a cooler full of drinks, several tortillas, and a grip of meat for cooking on the grill. He also brought our favorite drink, Maker's Mark...three bottles, plus two mini bottles.
Mark quickly acquired the trail name "Bartender" from the hiking community, and it was not long before he was getting a tour of the property from Doug (who looks and acts like he was just pulled from a lead role in a Cheech&Chong film). After the tour and a few introductions, Mark was on the grill, cooking up some Carne Asade for the hordes of hikers.
The rest of the evening was spent telling Mark (Bartender), of our exploits over the last month. Yet, like any hiker, staying up past nine is a challenge, and we found ourselves rolling into the Magical Manzanita grove shortly after 10pm.
We woke this morning and Apricots, Psycho, and Bartender grabbed a quick morning coffee before enjoying Terri Anderson's standard pancake breakfast. Apricots and Psycho packed their bags after deciding not to "zero" a full day at Casa de Luna, like Train, Wizard, Uncle Tom, and General Lee did.
We chose to get back to where its calmer, back to the reason we are out here, back to the trail. The Mayor set out ahead of us, with Genius and DareDevil. We set out half an hour later with Tiffany (Darko) and Aaron (En Passant). Mark drove us up to the trail, and we thanked him as best we could, but not nearly enough, before hitting the trail.
Up and over a hill, past some chamise and dirt roads, and suddenly (or so it seemed) we had covered eight miles of trail. The sun was out and the sky was clear, but the temperatures were rather low. As we took a midday siesta, we were forced to where a warm layer, to rest comfortably in the sun.
After lunch and siesta, we steadily climbed to roughly 5500 feet, where we have roughly followed the ridge line. The wind is heavy, and the temperature is cool (if not cold). We find ourselves actually asking for heat. This, likely, will not be the case for us tomorrow as we drop down to Antelope valley to cross the Mojave desert.
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