I’m writing this from memory which is very hard to do with all that has been going on on the trail. OK so I camped at that really shitty, in retrospect, spot around mile 84. At 10 PM the prior eve I was really tired and all the actual camp spots had been taken. So the spot I chose seemed great because there were no cacti on the ground and there was enough space to put my weary body. great. So I slept there, albeit poorly. In the a.m. I heard hikers passing. I cussed them for being early risers. I finally peeled my harried body up and made my Starbucks via. Pissed on my untied shoes, packed up, and hiked about .2 miles. Oh I recall now, I also had no water! Because all my water in my platypus leaked out onto my sleeping bag the night before. what a train wreck. a yard sale. I hope someone saw me, one of those early risers, damn them, and at least laughed at the site of me on the hill. So onward desert dry and hot. Oh so hot. 105° hot. Right after I packed up blackSwan appeared. We hiked to the third gate cache together. He entertained me with a spectacular narration of the movie “Nocturnal Animals” with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhal. I disputed with him about the pronunciation of Gyllenhal. I mean, I am older than Black Swan, more Gyllenhal’s generation, and plus I’ve crushed on Jake for decades now, so I should really be the authority on the pronunciation of his last name.

BlackSwan also taught me some calculus while walking. that’s how smart he is.

hit third gate cache around noon. Rested there waiting for the heat to drop. Met a lot of other thru hikers hiding under mountain Cedar and other small shrubs in desperate need for shade or as one European with little English called it “shadows.”

Come to find out I’m allergic to mountain cedar.

BlackSwan wanted to stay until 5 or 6 PM but I wanted to get a jumpstart so I hiked out around 2 PM. I made it to Barrel Oaks around 7:30 after eating on a rock and taking a dinner break for an hour an hour prior. Trail magic was abundant at the rest stop near barrel oaks with Mexican food and beverages so I decided to have a second dinner. I think I’m gaining weight. Jesus. Saw so many thru hikers: The ambassador, 200%, furball, surf and turf.

I don’t really like camping with a bunch of people so I moved on. ended up cowboy camping in a former cow field, my companions being cow patties. Slept peacefully.

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