Baker to Barstow (almost)

Confession time: We are kind of getting sick of the desert. We have been walking through the sandy, rocky, shadeless wastes for hundreds of miles and nearly 2 months. Enough is enough.

I don't even know where I took this picture. Desert somewhere.

We are tired of no shade, no respite from the sun. We are tired of sunburn and dry skin and chapped lips. We are worn out on sand-sabotaged tent zippers and the ever-present concern of water management. Kait said it best: “I’m not a lizard. I need trees and seasons.”

water breaks take place my bushes big enough for dog shade. no bigger.

We are sick of sand in EVERYTHING – boots, socks, in-between-toe spaces, tents, sleeping bags, underpants, hairy dog everyplaces, snacks, meals, water bottles, camera parts, book pages, eyes, ears, teeth. Seriously. There is no end to the sandy onslaught.

Mojave nothing

Outside of Baker, we walked out into a mostly empty expanse of Mojave desert, always keeping an eye on the constant rumbling line of I-15. Slater had to skip ahead for lack of roads and paths – and that fearless kid will drive on almost anything – so we frolicked across the nothings, let the dogs fly free for a while. We saw very few living things. Even though we are getting pretty damn close to the ocean, the desert seems to be getting more and more desert-esque. Where are the palm trees and junk? Joshua trees don’t count.

le frolic

newer dog is certifiably insane, and comprised of 98% organic wiggly bits.

Off to the south and west, this empty waste stretched on infinitely, punctuated by towers of crumbling rock and sand. The curve of the earth rose slowly in front of us so that we found ourselves walking toward the wall of southern Sierra foothills. As we approached the giant monoliths, they split and stretched and revealed gaps and passes which we wound our way up and over. Always up, it seems, with gravity pulling our weight back down through every sliding, inefficient, soft-sand step. Oh, how I long for pavement!

Subaru-impassable dirt roads, in sight of I-15. And did I mention the sand?

We made it most of the way to Yermo, 7 days without a break. Then the sun and sand and general desert rat malaise got to us. Kait suffered a lunar-linked migraine, and we threw in the towel on walking one more day before a break. We drove ahead to Barstow, where the Economy Inn gave us a wee discount. Our path ahead will take us south of Barstow, but we needed to detour up here anyway to resupply. Day off: post office, laundromat, food face-stuff times, grocery, water fillings, showers and bed sleeps. Tomorrow, we’ll be back on the trail, pushing to make Victorville in 4 days.

postacrds of us! how rad!

Also, our photo postcards showed up in the mail! We are going to send these to people who have hosted us along the way (and hope we don’t miss anybody) and applicable IndieGoGo funders. Kait’s been busy addressing them. We are also working on the handpainted ones, but they are taking awhile. Art is hard, and cannot be rushed.

Also also, Tyler Coulson sent us a copy of his book about his coast-to-coast walk (among other life-related things) and we are STOKED to read it. It’s called By Men Or By The Earth, and it is pretty cool indeed. I promise to review it harshly as soon as I have read it.

Max is on my lap, and wants to type a bit:

“jjjjjkjkcfjhhjdfxdhxbdnx ceshndjnmn c ndxk,dsk,kdskmksikdifrjnfgn  ncv c cx  bcvmncfmnccf n c  dfm mjcvmcvmcmncfmnf  f  bdf  e de de d d d ddeddedddddduiuiuwik34  4jksxjnsdbnasbnddmnnxmxlszzzzzdksl;dkfgkjm sxikmjc kl,zmn≈Ωxcx.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, little buddy.

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