Finally we have made it! We now find ourselves in Kennedy Meadows, the gateway to the Sierras, the end of the desert and the end of southern California. We won’t be too sad to see the end of the desert but what a trip it has been.
The desert certainly didn’t let us leave easily, and the final section was also some of our toughest. During this section we crossed the corner of the Mohave which was an interesting experience. We intended to night hike the 20 miles to beat the heat. In the end we did 38 miles in 24 hours with only 4 hours of sleep. It was easier than hiking across the Mohave during the day, but it’s not something I would like to repeat anytime soon.
Water sources were also very scarce in this section. Normally we try not to rely on water caches, but as one stretch was over 30 miles without water, we trusted one of the water caches. When we got there, the water cache was empty! We had about a litre of water left each, so decided to carry on a further 6 miles to get to the next water source. It was getting dark, we needed to climb a mountain with a sharp ridge, and to add to it a storm was blowing in. As we climbed the mountain, the wind got stronger and 90mph winds blew only a few feet over our heads. We hiked into the night and found what we thought was a sheltered spot amongst the trees. Despite this we had a rough night as the wind ended up nearly flattening our tent.
We are now resting and eating lots of food in preparation for heading into the mountains, including climbing mount Whitney which is the highest mountain in the lower 48 states. Farewell desert, hello mountains!