The bus was actually at 6am but we were still back at the trail early. A couple of us threw our packs in the bushes to walk back to where the pickup truck had dropped us off and walk that section of trail to make sure we had a continuous footpath from Mexico to Canada.
Next it was up a long, hot, exposed incline. I had my umbrella up by 8am, it was so hot. I hit some trees around 10am but it was too early to stop for siesta and I was hoping for a larger tree at a campsite coming up.
Getting close to noon, I was definitely trudging, almost stumbling, and I was so slow even though I was going downhill. I do not do well in the heat. Just when I was coming up to the campsite, I saw the large, perfect shade tree that I’d been hoping for, with a dozen hikers already under it.
I joined them and rested until 4pm, when I started hiking again. It was still too hot but I started hiking in shade soon after 5:00 and that helped put a little pep in my step. I made it to Golden Oaks Spring in time to cook dinner.
This used to be a 36 mile dry stretch because the spring was in disrepair but the Trail Gorillas maintenance group recently fixed it so that number is about split in half. I’ve never seen so many hikers in one spot on this trail before. There was a line to get water from the piped spring because the flow was slow, but I just filled up from the trough it usually drips into. I filter my water any way so it doesn’t matter and I was not about to wait, having gone dry a mile before.
I cooked dinner and then kept going for a few more miles, setting up in the dark where Mac had helpfully hung a light on a tree so I’d find them. 22 miles today, not including the backwards mile plus I walked this morning.