I woke up at 4:45 to hear one of the other hikers packing up to hit the trail. Smart to get miles in early, but I couldn’t do it after the late night and went back to sleep until 6. The part of the canyon the Preserve is in was deceptively cool what with all the shade and water. I could see the sun already hitting over where the PCT was though and knew I needed to get moving. I saw the sign welcoming hikers now that it was daylight, directing us to camp spots, picnic tables, flush toilets, potable water, and wading pools. It would have been a great place for a siesta but I can’t nero everywhere that looks awesome or I’d never get anywhere. I knew I’d be hitting lots of water today though.
I got to the Whitewater River before 8 and although it wasn’t too hot yet (relatively), I dipped my hat in it to cool down. I knew that would dry quickly so I couldn’t resist getting my body in it too. It was only a couple of inches deep but I laid down backward with my feet still on the shore so I didn’t have to take my shoes off. The shock of cold water and the novelty of any water felt amazing.
The morning got hotter and I started to feel like I was moving so slowly. My feet were feeling sore and I could feel the heel blister getting bigger again. I finally made it to Mission Creek just after 11 and found the perfect tree to siesta under. The trail sort of follows the creek for the next twelve miles so I had meant to go a little farther before breaking but I was worried I wouldn’t find as good of a spot for shade, and my feet were ready for a break any way. The creek was also wide enough to sit in at that point if I wanted to, although after being in the shade with a breeze for a while, I was perfectly comfortable and didn’t need to cool down further.
I put my feet up and tried to nap for an hour, sleeping maybe five minutes of it. Then I decided to lance the blister again before lunch and I did a much better job of it this time. I ate and tried to sleep again but the sun started encroaching on my space so I decided to get moving at 3:30.
I dipped my hat in the creek, and splashed water up onto my sleeves, and repeating this every half hour or so kept me cool. The canyon started having long shaded areas after 5 too. It was very gadually uphill the whole time but easy walking.
I did 16.9 miles for the day, finding a campsite with a little running stream just before dark. It was a little less than I had planned, but I didn’t care to night hike again and I wanted to catch up on sleep. I think I’d rather get a very early start than a very late stop. I can’t do both because I need to sleep at night. I am really not good at sleeping during the day.