Starting Mileage: 210.8
Ending Mileage: 232
After a breakfast of cold cereal and coffee provided by Ziggy and The Bear we set out.
Conditions were similar to the day before, high 90s and sunny with few water sources.
The first few miles were a climb back out of the valley which took us by the Mesa Wind Farm. This is an impressive collection of wind turbines, the first of many I understand. They also offer water to hikers, but as it was a short way into our trip we didn't need any yet.
We trekked up and down, in and out of dry washes until we came to Whitewater Creek. Upon setting my pack down promptly sat in the river to cool down. It felt fantastic. We ate, refilled our water, then sat in the diminishing shade provided by a boulder. Once the shade became too small to provide relief we ventured forth aiming for our next water source, Mission Creek.
You've probably noticed a theme, hiking from water source to water source. You're right. Water is heavy and you can carry only so much. The heat and elevation exasperate the situation. Being high desert there are few dependable places you can get water. Doubly so in a low snow year. So water takes a central role in everything you do.
Mission Creek parallels the PCT for several miles once you arrive at it. There are also numerous crossings of the two. So the afternoon/evening was plentiful water. We hiked until about 6 pm then found a campsite near where Chief and Allen had setup.
We were in the tent by 8pm and asleep shortly after. It doesn't take your body long to get in the habit of waking with the sun rise and going to bed when the sun sets.