Since I got to bed early the previous day, I planned on waking up around 4 AM to get a decent amount of miles in and hopefully catch up to Lipstick. I left my fly off so I could get my tent packed faster in the morning. I woke up around 1.30 AM with water pouring down on my face. Just my luck. I grabbed my fly and scrambled out of my tent. Luckily I wasn’t alone because I saw the guy next to me doing the exact same thing. I attached the fly and hurried back in my tent. The weather was nasty. Thunder, lightning, rain and hail came pouring down on me. Luckily my copper spur was sturdy enough and I dozed off again. In the morning the storm had passed but because of the fly incident I gave myself a couple of more hours to sleep. By 7 AM I was packed and ready to go. Today wasn’t much better than the day before but I had no choice. My water was running out so my only two options were to either go back to Ridgecrest or go straight to the next water. I’m stubborn so I kept going. The trail was brutal with a big climb and I hated every single step. I needed to get over that mountain and a smaller one after that to finally reach the Spanish Needle Creek. After a couple of hours I took a rest under a tree which again took me three hours to get away from. With 8 miles still left and all the strength already drained from my body I started to break down mentally. I wanted to quit. The creek was closer to me than Ridgecrest and that was the only reason I kept moving forward. If it was the other way around I’m positive I would have turned back, walked to Ridgecrest and looked for the first plane out of here, back to Belgium. Looking back, I’m glad that wasn’t the case. About 6 miles before the reliable water source there was a junction to the Joshua Tree Spring.
I had been extremely thirsty all day (daydreaming about watermelons) so I was very low on water. I left my pack and walked down hoping to find some water in the trough since it had rained that night. Dry as a bone. I went back to the trail and resumed my hike. After about 2 miles my water was completely gone which resulted in a horrible saliva taste. With my body weak already this was the worst time to hike 4 miles without any water. After a lifetime of cursing the trail, still daydreaming about watermelons and the strong urge of leaving my pack and just going home I finally found a small pool of water about a mile before the actual water source. It smelled foul but I didn’t care. I scooped up a liter and sat there until it was gone. I got up again and dragged myself down the last mile. I didn’t see any water at first but the trees and bushes looked suspiciously green. I bushwacked my way up and suddenly heard flowing water. I ditched my pack and kept climbing until I finally reached it.
The most beautiful sight in the world. I’d like to thank the genious who made this little fountain. With four liters in hand I went back to my pack, ate a hot meal and pitched my tent. I was exhausted but happy and a lot less gloomy. I didn’t set an alarmclock because I needed my body to sleep. I hoped tomorrow would be better because it wasn’t working out this way.