Around 6:30 am we were woken by Cricket, Funk and Prof walking by, they went on as we packed up setting us the challenge of catching up during the day. Crossing a road the trail made its way up past Owens Peak and up into the shrubby mountains. We could see low clouds shrouding the peaks and tumbling down the valleys ahead, hints of rain? We zigzagged along ridge lines going from cold cloud to bright desert views on one side or the other. Eventually we passed through the clouds which had covered the dead pines in hoarfrost and left us with only a few feet of visibility reminiscent of past hikes in Ireland.
Below the cloud line we found Cricket and Prof at a water spring, but no sign of Funk. Sure that he had simply missed the turning, Cricket went on to find him and we too shortly left. We were now in the clear sandy scrublands of the valley flats, but climbed occasionally over low lying ridges among the foot hills. We had a massive climb to end the day taking us up to the rim of the mountainous bowl through pine woods and past trickling streams. At the summit, clouds were rolling in over the pines all around us, so we picked up pace to avoid potential snow and finally came to camp along the pines of a sheltered nook. Funk had thankfully been found by Cricket before this climb unbeknown to the rest of us. All together we marvelled at how varied the climate and environment had been that day, drank some left over birthday wine and tucked up snug as bugs. Tomorrow will be the last of Southern California.