It was nice and cool this morning and no one felt any need to rush out of camp since the temperature wasn’t going to be hot enough to require a long siesta.
It was five miles down to the side trail to Joshua Tree Spring. As I arrived, everyone there told me to quickly get water and go since a bear had just been there. They’d scared it off, but it still wanted water and it came right back while we were all still there. We backed off from the trough so it could drink and then it turned and left. It was just a small, thirsty black bear. We retreated partially back up the side trail to lunch under a tree there instead.
The water at the spring has tested positive for uranium but that’s what I’ll be drinking from most of my water sources coming up in the Sierra. The level is too high for a lifetime of drinking it, but for a few weeks, it’s supposedly okay. It still tastes normal.
When I continued on the trail, I passed the one quarter finished marker. It’s hard to believe I’m that far along the trail already.
The day ended with a long climb up to several campsites on a ridge. The wind was so strong as I reached the first saddle that I could barely keep myself walking in a straight line. I started to worry that I wouldn’t find a sheltered site there and I’d have to keep hiking into the dark, but I found my friends in a sheltered site a couple of miles later. 22 miles for the day.