Interstate 10 (209.5) to Mission Creek camp (226.2)

16.7 miles

I woke up in a wonderful warm and cozy bed at Mary’s and Jim’s place. My friends had picked me up again at the I10 and had given me another wonderful day of rest, plenty of food and good conversations.

After breakfast it was time to say goodbye to Jim. Mary drove me to the trailhead. A heavy stone was lying on my heart when I had to leave the car to give my friend a last big hug. I am not made for goodbyes!

I was also missing the right words to say thank you for everything my wonderful friends have done for me in the last couple of weeks. THANK YOU Mary and Jim!!! It was hard to say goodbye especially not knowing when I would see my two friends again. I hope you guys are coming to Germany soon!

The goodbye and thoughts of my friends still on my mind I started today’s hike from the I10. It was windy right from the start and I thought it could only become better. How wrong I was! The first four miles the trail went through desert shrubs. After a while I entered the Mesa Windfarm where my first water source would be. The employees of the windfarm at the maintenance building were well known amongst hikers as they provided water and snacks and a place out of the wind for us. I arrived there all alone and was greeted by a barking Golden Retriever. The employees wanted me to come in and one of them gave me a couple of mandarins. I sat down for a while chatting with the guys and petting the dog before I filled up my water and hit the trail again.

The first climb of the day made me hope that the wind would be less once I was over the hill and on the other side. Nope! Once I was through the gate on top of the hill I found myself in the situation of nearly flying away. I was glad that I carried a lot of food and my backpack was heavy enough to keep me on the ground. I fighted against the wind for miles unable to enjoy the views. After a while I started descending down towards the Whitewater Preserve. That was when the wind situation improved a lot. Down in the valley the first real creek crossing was waiting and I was so excited to get my feet wet that I forgot to take a photo.

However, the creek crossing was successful but not so much finding the trail on the other side. Together with two couples I followed some footsteps in the sand until someone checked his phone and realized the trail was somewhere else. Navigating with the app we found back to the trail and started to climb up from the river valley. I was aiming at mile 223 for camping but when I arrived there it was super windy. Together with one of the couples I shooted down the mountain again, heading for the next campsite. I was hoping for a good spot out of the wind.

And I got it! I camp on beachy sand right next to Mission Creek. Next to my tent there’s the tent of Smiles, an older hiker from California I chatted with for a while. As I took a zero yesterday I will meet new people in this section. It would actually be nice to find someone to hike with for a while. But I know it’s difficult because of my usually very slow pace. Well, let’s see what the next days bring!

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