May 30 (Day 29)

Saufly’s Hiker Heaven to campsite at 468.2 (454.5 to 468.2)

Daily miles: 13.7

The Saufly’s live in Agua Dulce and past Agua Dulce are the desert hills. I road walk a couple miles to the outskirts of town and the hills are yellow and brown from all the dried grass.  The scrub bushes are green with orange tips, on account of those being dry as well.  In the yellow and green and orange hills live the bugs.  Bugs droning, bugs buzzing, bugs chirping.  Sometimes they sing in unison, and sometimes they sing by themselves, but they almost always clam up when I walk by.

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I climb a ridge and find a copse of trees to sit under because the sun has grown hot and the earth is hot with it.  A couple of day hikers walk by, and one of them turns out to be a former PCT thru-hiker (trail named Blast, he’s just created an 800 mile trail that links together the deserted railroad tracks from the previous century.  It encircles Death Valley and he’s publishing a book on the route, which he’s named “The Death Q.”)  He wanted to show his friend the trail, and she’s so nice and I very much enjoy our conversation.  They give me 3 farm fresh oranges, and I devour all of them in no time.  I forget her name, but after I eat the first two she peels the third for me before collecting the rinds.  Such kindness.

A couple hours later I come to a road crossing and there’s a mother and daughter from LA (the trail is less than an hour from the city here) doing more trail magic.  I get a lemon San Pellegrino, bag of cookies, and a mini cucumber and sit on their lawn chairs and eat it all.  So refreshing.

Camp tonight is up on a ridge, in the scrub bushes, looking out over a reservoir and the setting sun. 

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