I woke up early-ish, after a few cold spots during the night I really didn’t want to get out of my bag, I was comfortable. Eventually though the sun crested, and I started to get a little too warm, nature’s way of saying time to get on the trail. I had a power bar and got my gear together and topped off all my water bottles.
After the previous days hike and water consumption my pack was a lot lighter, and I loaded it on my back and began the hike down the road through the sandstone canyons and into the badlands of Anza Borrego. The hike though the canyon was nice with a lot of neat rock formations and the terrain kept me busy as I warmed up my trail legs. The second day is always a little better, it’s like my body finally gets it after the first day that it’s going to be a little more time on the trail. I will say I was again glad I was going west to east since it made for a gradual downhill hike.
Day two saw a lot more activity on the trail as I passed campers who had four wheeled up form Fish Creek and day adventures driving up through the desert roads. For the most part not a big deal. But I did have to pay a little more attention to the traffic since I had to share the desert today, ha-ha. One of the upsides though is I knew I was getting closer and seeing people did add another level of comfort knowing if I had to, I could ask for help.
As I came down the canyon and out onto the main route I was in familiar territory from last year’s trip, we had made it a little past the Devils Drop Off and I was starting to see some terrain features I recognized that was nice. The down side is I knew that while the wash/road opened up a lot of this area was very sandy and at times it was like walking at the beach with a backpack.
I guess if you do it a second time it starts to become routine and around ten thirty, I was looking for a shade spot to take a mid-day nap and get out of the sun. My sun shelter from the Grabber All Weather Blanket came in handy again as I set it up in the exposed was far away from the traffic exploring the desert. I checked my maps drank water and had a nice little lunch befoe checking the time. At around one I broke camp loaded up my bag and heads down closer to Fish Creek.
The final few miles past the wind caves and into Split Mountain was great, the high walls of the canyon provided a bunch of shade and I could take a break here and there. I had talked to Gary and David earlier, so we had a timeline, and I was not in any rush. I even had time to talk to some campers (also take a break).
It was nice though exiting the canyon and seeing the hustle and bustle of the campground and knowing how close I was to the end. I gave Gary a call and they were in campo setting up, all I had to do is take a “shortcut” up some loose sand and rocks and I was there with my pickup crew. Gary his son and David were setting up camp and fortunately had the chairs out, happy day a chair. They had just arrived though and there wasn’t too much sunlight if they wanted to see the wind caves, so they took off up there while I relaxed in the shade. Around four thirty Andy and his kids showed up and began set up then after a couple hour car ride Andy took the kids up to the wind caves to meet the gang and check them out.
Now I was comfortable, and you might think my trip was done, I kind of felt like that too but I still had a little bit to go… To complete my hike across the park I had three and a half miles to go to finish out my trip and a sixteen-mile day. Since I had a safe place to ditch my gear, I stripped my pack down to just the waist belt with my canteens and my kit bag with my survival gear so I could move light and fast. I reluctantly got going ha-ha.
The hike out initially was sandy and not too much fun until I hit the paved road and my time got a lot better. I was just finishing it to finish it at this point and while I was hiking, I got a call from the gang checking in and I let them know my location and pick up time, I was not walking back ha-ha. I passed Elephant Trees a local park marker and had just a little bit to go until I hit the park sign and the end of my hike. It was nice to be done and put this one in the books. I called David and he came and got me, before heading back we headed to the Iron Door and I grabbed a beer.
This was a fun and challenging trip that had me seeing a diverse set of terrain and exploring Anza Borrego state Park. Over two days I had crossed thirty-three miles on foot along jeep roads washes and a trail here and there. The greatest challenge for me doing this self-supported was the fact I had to carry all of my water and I started with twenty liters of water weighing in at around forty-four pounds on top of my personal gear. By the time I had finished I only had three liters left. It was neat to know that I can do it and having th eoppertunity to push myself a little. It would not have been doable if it wasn’t for my great support team, Stephanie on logistics, Gino on standby for pick up if I need a jeep to grab me, dad dropping me off Friday and Gary, David, and Andy for pick up and camping at the end. I am very appreciative for all the help and support. Also thank you for taking the time to read my story and learn about my little adventure.