Pacific Crest Trail
With a 40 mile hike and 3 days of freeze-dried to look forward to, McDonald's seemed like a reasonable breakfast. McMuffins and hash browns for everyone, including extras for lunch!
Quick drive up Highway 58, a few miles of trail along the highway, then the real fun begins with a nice 2000+ foot climb straight up into the Piute Mountains. We don't quite make the "10 before 10" (10 miles before 10am) goal, but we do make a quick stop under an awesome tree at mile 9.5, and then a proper lunch siesta to beat the heat around mile 10.5.
Terrain varies between desert scrub and oak trees, plenty of windmills, and the occasional mid-summer flower to break things up. One more decent hill climb but that's it. Laying low to beat the worst of the mid-day heat proves to be a good idea, and we reach the beautiful, albeit mosquito-infested, Golden Oak Spring (about 16.8 miles of hiking today) by mid-afternoon. The concrete trough is pretty handy, and the metal grate that lets you fill your water containers without having to hold them the whole time is pretty bomb.
A few hundred feet from Golden Oak Spring is a gorgeous view over the ridge, the remains of a smashed trailer turned into a shelter, and yes, more windmills. Plus a squirrel that kept trying to drop pine cones atop our heads right at the spring. o_0