Spanish Needle Creek to Manter Creek – 25 miles (40km) – 693 miles total
I got an early start today. I was hiking at 6.15am. Partly to try and beat the heat and partly because I knew I had a long day ahead of me if I was going to make it to a water source to camp. Thankfully the heat never really came because the predicted temperature of 32C (94F) on the desert floor was a lot less at elevation. It was actually a pleasant temperature all day.
The day consisted of two big climbs up and back down of 800m gain and the loss, with one water source between the two climbs. Which meant carrying water up the climbs.
At one point I thought another thunderstorm was going to come in, but it was actually a military aircraft (think Broken Arrow, if you have seen that movie) flying low and fast. It was super loud. I saw a few of them during the day and remembered that there was a military base near Ridgecrest which I was told is larger than the state of Rhode Island.
With 3 miles to go I was over walking. It appears low 20’s is my comfort spot. So I sat down on the trail and mustered my energy for the last stretch.
At camp tonight there are lots of little bugs and ants. I think I found a tent spot with few ants. And after the sandflies of NZ I am a pro at setting up my tent then diving in to do everything else, so for tonight the bugs aren’t worrying me.
Today I am thankful for nice hiking temperatures.