I like night hiking. I rarely fall asleep before 2am, so it suits me. But I need to sleep late for it all to work out. Most other hikers can't respect someone who wakes up after 5am, so as I sit making my breakfast at 8:30, I get eye-rolls and throat-clearing from passers-by. People have different rhythms, and I'm tired of defending mine. I've learned when I function best, dammit, now quit thinking I'm a slacker.
Aside from that, it was a lovely day. Desert scrub transitioned into oak and willow as the sandy valley bottom gave way to great chunks of limestone mixed with clay loam. There was little elevation change all day, maybe 3000' in total over 19 miles, and persistent wind kept the heat to mere annoyance level. Around 3pm, I found a pile of hikers at the tiny drip of a stream that was the only water source for 35 miles from highway 58. We all had to wait in line to fill from the dingy little spring; it took 5 minutes to fill my one liter bottle each of 4 times. Far Out, Coyote, Windsong and Pinecone were all about to leave as I got there, but it was nice to talk to them briefly. They all understood when I expressed my desire for some time alone after so much social interaction. It was refreshing to have such understanding friends.
Around dusk, I took a little break to watch the sun setting through crazy, irregular windows of swaying ponderosa needles. Under the newly blackened sky, I threw my pack back on and felt my hip flexor immediately rebel. No idea what I did, but the next 4 miles were rather painful. I settled for a flat spot in a burned area a mile from my goal, and now am dreading how this damned thing will feel tomorrow.