Day 10 started in the ghost town of Kelso just after 8 am. It was a lovely sunny start in the Mojave National Preserve as I headed North East in the direction of Las Vegas. It was still a bit cold though. It wasn't how I'd previously imagined the desert conditions to be like at all.
I met the RV for a brief rest after 8 miles. Richard was passing the time by placing cent coins on the nearby railway track for passing trains to flatten. His first effort failed when the vibration of the train dislodged the coin from the track. With the help of some sellotape, his next effort was spectacular. Well, as spectacular as squashing coins can be. After a short tactical snooze I was on my way again.
This day was very similar to the previous few days in that I would start off feeling very tired. After the first break of the day and the now famous tactical snooze, I would feel like a new person. I started to see people on twitter using the term tactical snooze, which pleased me greatly.
The first 21 miles involved a steady climb from 2100 ft to 4275 ft. It was a long old slow slog to get to that point. Yet again, the scenery of the Mojave National Preserve seemed to make the miles go by quite quickly. I wrote the following on my blog later that day.
"I am now in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the world I've had the pleasure to be in. It's so peaceful and quiet. It's gorgeous view after gorgeous view. It really helps to keep the lonely miles ticking over."
While I still had a mobile signal, I took the opportunity to update my blog. The remaining miles of the day were into a huge valley and I was certain that would mean another loss of signal.
I was accompanied by Stu for the final few miles and we talked about the content of the book and my reasons for running across the USA. I'm still, to this day, very disappointed that the book never came to fruition and that my time was wasted. Not to mention the small matter of the money owed to me by the publisher; Tonto Books.
The day's running while finishing in the dark was accompanied with great excitement. In the very far distance was a spot of light pollution. It was coming from Las Vegas. It was the first time in the USA that I really felt that good progress was being made.
I finished running for the day after 30.1 miles. The final 9 miles had seen a nice descent to 3100 ft. I think I would have managed a few more miles had it not been for a huge blister. If that was all I had to moan about then I was sure that I was in pretty decent shape.
Cherry Active continued to keep the pains to a minimum. Daily ice treatment was working well. I had a small amount of sunburn on my neck where I hadn't covered it up properly. Overall, I was in much better shape on this run that I had been at the same stage from John O'Groats to Lands End.
I'd ran 295.25 miles in the first 10 days. I'd climbed 15,201 ft and burned 38,200 calories approximately.
The lack of a mobile signal meant that I was unable to ring home. This really affected my morale. Communication with Katy and Jack was vital to keeping mine and my family's spirits up.
I later found out that my son, Jack (pictured above), had been upset at school that day. It's moments like that when you realise just how vital it is to continue to put one foot in front of the other. My determination to successfully run across the USA, at that moment in time, reached an all new high.