We had a slow and steady wake up in the forest hoping the day would be full of trees and shade…it was not. Where we camped was right on the edge of the woodland and the trail shortly left it behind entering dusty shrub land and burn areas. Something about it felt more exposed than before. It was so hot but luckily mostly downhill to the first water cache 7 miles from camp. We filed up, rested and snacked before heading for another 5 miles up steep slopes with the sun bearing down on our backs. Sweat poured and it was evident that this was the most desert like area we had been through thus far, just as we felt we were leaving it behind.
We ate lunch at a random picnic table out in the open and did not linger too long. We had the aim of pushing onto the next water cache for camp and this was going to be full of gruelling but short climbs that pushed our pores to the limits. As the sun began to dip behind the western range we finally had shade and managed to nail the last few miles. Plenty of water at the cache and a nice spot below Joshua trees. Prof hadn’t been seen all day and was behind us somewhere, he’s from snowy Michigan and is not a fan of this heat. We tucked down hoping to see him in the morning.