Day 16: new lows

Day 16
Miles: 18
From lower san jacinto (mile 201) to whitewater preserve

The tarp stood up to the wind all night, but we were sand- blasted anyway. I kept pulling my sleeping bag over my head, to keep out the sand, but then I’d wake up a little later drenched in sweat. I’d wake up after that to wipe the sand off my face, and pull my bag over my head. Repeat. “I don’t think I slept all night,” moans J.
   “Shoulda tried earplugs,” I commiserate. I’ve got an entire sandbox in my ear crevices and nose. Despite the sand, we’ve overslept. Time to walk. My feet hate me.

We limp up to the spigot at the base of the mountain and collapse in relief. We’ve been thirsty since last night and hot for a lot longer. While we’re filling up and soaking our shirts to cool off, up trots an incredibly cheerful woman. “Where you coming from this morning?” I ask.
   “Idyllwild!” She replies brightly.
Idyllwild?? It’s ten in the morning! That’s 24 miles away! She has magnificent thighs, fabulous calves, and then I see her shoes. They look like regular trail runners except for the two and a half inch thick foam soles.
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