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Buck30 - Desert Trail Journal - 2019

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: Apr 3, 2019
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Mon, Oct 21st, 2019
Start: Bull Spring Mesa
End: Black Tank Wash
Daily Distance: 21
Trip Distance: 1,678.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 42
Journal Visits: 16,881
Guestbook Views: 392
Guestbook Entrys: 19

The Desert Trail Day 104

Chilly overnight and we were walking by 7. A few nice miles of jeep road to
Interstate 15, where our cache was on the other side. We walked the paved
road over and through crazy amounts of trash at the abandoned shop.
Apparently people like abandoned interstate exists as many people were
getting on and off. Our cache looked good and we relaxed for over an hour
while sorting our food and water. For the first time I didn't seem to pack
quite enough food, oh well. Mostly cause I was banking on the upcoming
visitor center having food which we later learned it no longer does
consistently. It's amazing though that when short on food it's a lot easier
to eat things I haven't wanted for weeks. We basically have been eating the
sane things for a month, all of our food has been from boxes dropped off or
buried. Not by choice, we haven't had a single planned town with a grocery
store! In a week we will finally put an end to all that and be able to buy
different foods for the final 200 miles.

After break we split for the next 24 hours. My day would consist of all XC
over lava rocks. Not Heather's cup of tea. I did have an awesome walk even
though it was tough. First I had several miles through thick Blackbrush
which I really am beginning to hate. Up to the lava mesa, now in the 1.6
million acre Mojave National Preserve which I think is gonna be awesome. I
meandered along the lava mesa for many miles which epic views in all
directions. It was only moderately rocky and brushy and the walking was
fine other than not having a trail of course. Walking along the mesa all of
a sudden 3 Bighorn sheep were sprinting across my field of view. I've seen
a lot of Bighorn this year which isn't super common in the desert.

Nearing a back to back climbing/contouring of cinder cones (Red Top and
Club Peak) the walking got tougher with many more jumbled lava rocks. I'm a
pretty good rock walker and I was struggling to maintain any sort of
momentum and I couldn't multi task anything while walking (like checking my
maps and GPS). I was looking at my feet a lot. Once on the other side it
was a short descent and traverse across a flat with lots of barrel cactus
which were very red and awesome. At this point I got my first cactus needle
through my shoe into my toe which didn't feel good. Not a barrel, some
other cactus I don't know. It didn't stick so I just kept walking with some
pain.

The last couple miles of lava were the real lava through the Cinder Cones
Lava Beds area. This was the "newer" lava but was actually a little
disappointing. All the vegetation and Joshua Trees were still growing over
the bed of lava rocks so it wasn't really that cool. I was more expecting
miles of just black lava which looks awesome. Instead I just wobbled my way
through and down to wide Black Tank Wash which was an amazing reprieve
after walking on rocks and looking at my feet all day. Hard ground and easy
walking up the wash. I pushed 2 more miles, kinda thirsty of course. I only
took 4 liters having tired of the last few long water carries. I've got 8
miles in the morning and will be fine as usual but I think I'm going to
have an even worse than usual Big Gulp addiction this winter. Thinking
about getting a huge diet coke anytime I want seems like the dream right
now. I camped in the wash in a grove of desert willows.

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Journal Photo

The Desert Trail

The Desert Trail is a 2,000+ mile route from Mexico to Canada through the deserts of eastern California, western Nevada and eastern Oregon and Washington. Originally conceptualized in the 1960s this rugged, beautiful and almost forgotten route visits Americas greatest desert landscapes and wilderness areas.

 

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