L2H Day 1

Oct. 2, 2014, Badwater Basin to Shorty’s Well, 6.5 miles

All day I’ve faced a barren waste without the taste of water cool water
Old Dan and I with throats burnt dry and souls that cry for water cool clear water
The nights are cool and I’m a fool each star’s a pool of water cool water
And with the dawn I’ll wake and yawn and carry on to water cool clear water…-“Cool Water” by Marty Robbins

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Start of the L2H, Badwater Basin, L to R: Carrot Quinn, Orbit, Not a Chance

I push apprehension aside, twist my head on tighter, and step out of the car…onto what planet is this? I’ve never been to a place like this before. We are at the lowest point in North America, the salt flat of Badwater Basin. It’s located -282 below sea level and is one of the hottest and driest places in the world. Compared to hitching, this hellish place is a piece of heaven.

It’s time to hike! Walking is so good. Now all we got to do is push passed the car tourists who ventured a couple yards onto the salt flat. I’m glad I’m not one of them. I don’t want to be soft like them. Am I soft like them?

photo credit: http://instagram.com/carrotquinn?modal=true
photo credit: http://instagram.com/carrotquinn?modal=true

What’s not soft? The salt flat. It’s razor sharp. I walk cautiously. It’s dark now but we don’t use our headlamps. And then Oh shit! Carrot trips and gashes her knee three miles in. She’s bleeding a lot and the wound is deep. She throws some hand sanitizer on it and we keep walking.

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The dried salt slabs break easily under our feet. It sounds like we’re destroying a tea set. My feet have never experienced this sensation before. Carrot and I make jokes about low sodium diets. It takes us three hours to walk 6.5 miles! Walking across the salt flat was harder than we expected.

I can’t sleep. I’m anxious about tomorrow. It’s going to be really tough. In 15 miles, we’ll navigate steep slopes and ridges to Telescope Peak the tallest mountain in Death Valley at 11,331 feet, from below sea level! It’s one of the largest elevation gains in the world! Now, add some heat into that mix.

Well shit, here goes nothing.

5 thoughts on “L2H Day 1”

  1. Chance, love that you are writing again. Your 2014 PCT journal was understandably but disappointedly cut short right when you seemed to hit your stride as a writer. I look forward to reading all your future posts as I’m sure all your fans are as well. Loved the pictures of you three on the summit of Whitney. Reminds me that there is still real joy being experienced in this world and those photos make me smile every time I view them. Clearly, you are doing what you love. Keep it up.

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  2. What up chance!!. hitch hiked outta Julian with you… only ended up section hiking this year, but be back on the trail next year! You gals are badasses! !love reading your posts!! good luck. and keep up the good work!!

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