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Day 6 – Toughness Groove

Have no fear, I have survived the long waterless stretch and completed the majority of the desert without major issue. YES, the desert DID kick my ass, but that’s part of the reason I chose this route. It combines some of my favorite places with some of my most difficult challenges. I have never been a desert rat or embraced the heat. So, I decided to hike across the desert and through the heat to prove to myself I could and here I am on the other side.

It’s a wonder some of the things I remember, but in high school sports, I heard the story from a coach about a marine who takes cold showers every morning. His philosophy is toughness is practiced and improved. Or as he puts it, it’s a groove that he would cut deeper every morning. After 142 miles with only 4 water sources, I feel my toughness groove might have been cut a little deeper. After all, I didn’t even get to take a shower.

I exited Joshua Tree National Park to do a short resupply and a long road walk in the push towards the PCT. I ended just outside of Morongo Valley, a town in which everyone thought I was homeless. A store owner yelled at me to put my pack at the front while I shopped. I obliged, but it sure was a unique feeling. The smell must have been worse than any homeless he has met. My longest waterless stretch is over and I hope to never again carry over 20lbs of water!

Miles today: 37

Days without a shower: 6

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