Day 12: sand and windmills. Story of the day. I woke up semi-early and headed out with my pals Emi and Russ for our long descent down to the highway. I was a bit nervous due to my leg, but it held up pretty nicely. I don’t remember exactly but I think it was 15-16 miles from our campsite to the water fountain at the bottom of the mountain….yes an actual random ass water fountain! We stopped off at a near by creek a few miles in a bit off trail to get some H2O before heading out again. I don’t remember much but I know I just got antsy to get to the water and took off on my own. You could see the highway in the distance. Down, down, down we went. Switchbacks and curves to new mountain sides. As we got lower there were tons of massive rocks/boulders making up the ground beneath us. As I hit the last switch backs to the fountain I saw multiple other hikers all trying to squeeze into the little available shade on this really hot day. It was also windy and trying to get the water to get into your bottle was a battle of its own. I sat near the fountain and got sprayed every time someone tried to fill up! It was fabulous!! Moritz, Emi, and Russ cane not too much later and we ate lunch. My PB tortilla flew off my lap and landed Pb side down on the dirt. I scraped off what I could and just enjoyed the crunchy wrap. Moritz and I left and got to the highway where some wonderful trail magic with water, beer, and fruit was! While there we saw Simba and Strider they was going off ahead. No idea where to camp since there were no sites on our maps, we decided to just start walking and figure we’d find something. But no, there were barely good spots and ones we did find were heavily exposed to the winds. We kept going…and going…and going. Then said fuck it and chose to go 7.5 miles to the White Water Preserve Campgrounds. Longest 7.5 miles of my life! Through windmills and wind, big inclines in beach like sand, fatigue, I made it. On the way I ran into Simba and he said something I’ll never forget that changed my perspective. “How cool we get to see all these views that you can only see when hiking the PCT” saw another rattler that was coiled and ready to strike as we neared. And then finally the cross trail is there in front of me ready to take me to camp to finally rest. Not even 2 weeks into the trail and I hiked 29 miles..and they were some tough miles. We said goodbye to Simba as he was hiking on to meet people further up. The campsite trail was beautiful. We walked along a creek, over bridges, and through trees, and there it was. A beautiful open campground with Mountain View’s all around. I put up my tent, and 30 min later Moritz Böglitent was finally up 😂😝. And I ate the dinner I deserved. A refried bean, cous cous, and potato burrito.