Daily Miles: 26
Total Miles: 1212
We had a nice breakfast this morning made by the lodge owners…eggs, hash browns, sausage and pancakes. Yum!
We really enjoyed our time in Atlantic City. It is always interesting to visit small towns on our hikes and to hear about life in many different places. Atlantic City is very small (year round population in the 30s) and very isolated. It makes us realize that there is no one “American story”…life can be so radically different depending on where you live.
We headed back to the trail at 8:00am. It was nice and cool this morning with cloudy skies and a good breeze…perfect weather for heading into the Basin. Almost our entire day was spent walking on dirt roads. It makes the miles go faster, but can be a bit monotonous.
The bike-packers rode by us after an hour or so. We chatted with them for several minutes and wished them both well. They were both really nice and we enjoyed hanging out with them.
We also got some surprise trail magic this morning…we had sent several boxes to the restaurant in Atlantic City, Miner’s Grubstake. One of our packages from Amazon (containing badly needed socks and camp towel for Beardoh) wasn’t there. Well, one of the owners Laura had called around for us last night and it seemed that the package had been delivered to another business an hour away. So, we were walking down the dirt road this morning and here comes Laura driving down the road to catch us. Turns out the package came to her today, so she drove out of town to find us on the trail so she could give Beardoh his package. We were really touched by her thoughtfulness and willingness to go above and beyond for hikers.
The rest of the day, we were just putting one foot in front of the other, walking down dirt roads. It was a pretty nice temperature all day, with occasional clouds blocking the sun for extra relief. We saw some signage for both the Oregon Trail and the California Trail. As far as we know, these trails are more memorials to the early pioneers, rather than trails that people thru-hike.
In the late afternoon, the wind really picked up as some rain clouds came up. As it started to sprinkle, we found shelter behind a rock outcropping. We decided to use the time to make dinner, and by the time we were done, the skies were clear again.
We found a tolerable campsite (it was flat-ish, but there were three kinds of poop to kick out of the way: horse, cow and antelope) around 7:00pm and started to fumble our way through setting up our tent. Since the Basin is pretty much devoid of trees, we have swapped our hammocks for a tent. Since this was our first night with the different gear, it felt like it just took us forever to set up our shelter. Surely we’ll get faster after a few days.
Today we saw our first horny toad of the trip. We also saw two snakes, some antelope and about 35 wild horses.