Since daylight savings just happened it was dark by 5pm and we had a solid 12 hours in our sleeping bags.
We were hiking before the sunlight hit us this morning, and had a short climb up away from Hidden Canyon and took a minute up top to shed some layers, soak in the warming sun and slather ourselves with sunscreen. What little cloud cover we had the day before was gone and the sun was strong for November.
We had easy walking through Joshua trees and dry washes, skirting around the numerous animal burrows that peppered the landscape. At the edge of Salt Flat we debated the way down, and folks took off in several directions, each convinced they had the best path. At the base of some impressive quartzite mountains we took a break, filling up with snacks and plenty of laughter. These guys are a hoot to hike with!
The next stretch was hot and exposed as we worked our way through salt flat, and had to take several shade breaks in slivers of shade from rocks, the side of a wash or the lean shadows of a Joshua tree.
We turned to climb a dirt road past an old mine, and the mining debris was scattered all over the place. Historical trash my foot, I don’t understand why some of this junk isn’t cleaned up.
By early afternoon we made it to Gary’s car, and our water cache. Gary graciously agreed to pack out our trash and we bid him a farewell… He was on his way to Baja… lucky guy.
We only went a short distance further before finding small flat spots between the thick rabbit brush that was choking the start of Marble Canyon. It was early and half the group took off to explore Shorty Harris canyon while I and a few others stayed behind. I read some of my Harper’s Magazine and enjoyed some quiet time.
Dinner was more laughter and a wide array of freeze dried and dehydrated dinners. Bed time early again… Tomorrow the famous Marble Canyon!