Biggest Mistake of the PCT
I had to cross the Mojave Desert in the middle of a heat wave. I decided to night hike it so that I wouldn't have to deal with as much heat.
The start of the Mojave is Hikertown and I arrived just as Rain Man was leaving. I already put in a lot of miles that day, so I rested there for about two hours before heading out with the goal of reaching the Cottonwood Creek Bridge 17 miles later where I would try to sleep through the day.
Instead I made until almost 11:00 PM before I collapsed by the side of the trail to get a few hours of sleep. Early in the morning, as I packed up, I saw a group of four hikers moving down the trail together listening to music. I decided to try to catch and pass them before the bridge because I like to take on small challenges like that. When I caught them, I realized that I ate dinner with them in Lake Hughes and instead decided to hike with them the rest of the way.
BJ and his wife Jenn, Dang and Salisbury provided good companionship for the last few miles to the bridge where we tried to nap. All day, people kept showing up and plopping down in the shade as we tried to sleep. The sun's movement through the sky forced us to play leapfrog as we tried to stay in the shade. At 2:00 PM, I found some energy and started to get ready to hike. BJ also felt some energy and tried to get everyone else going. I decided to wait for them and that wait ended up being longer than expected as we left at 6:00 PM.
We hiked together until 1:00 AM where I decided that I would split off them. We actually ended up camping near each other anyway trying to get just a few hours of sleep before hiking the rest of the way to get to Tehachapi.
I ended up seeing them in Tehachapi as all of us zeroed to try to get more sleep. The sleep deprivation caused by night hiking was so severe that I felt the effects all the way to South Lake Tahoe over 600 miles away. However, I did see a really cool sunset.