Daily Miles: 24
Total Miles: 1262
Last night was one of our coldest nights. We woke up to ice on the outside of our tent. We had both put in ear plugs before going to sleep to block out the noise from the wind. That definitely helped us have a decent night of sleep. At some point during the night, the wind died down and it was completely still when we got up.
It was cold enough that we started with our down jackets and wore them for several hours. It was grey and overcast all day and it never warmed up. We even wore our down jackets for about an hour after lunch. We kept our windshirts on all day and our mittens were on most of the day.
We had two water sources today and they were both really nice piped sources. It was good to have enough water to do laundry since we weren’t able to do it yesterday.
Around mid-morning, we crossed a gravel road and at that point, it felt like our tread changed for the rest of the day. We went from walking on fairly firm or rocky ground to walking in soft, deep sand…definitely not enjoyable. At times, we would try to find cattle paths that paralleled the road/trail in order to get something more firm to walk on. Of course, then we had to keep our eyes open for small cacti hiding near the sage bushes.
During our lunch break, we put out our tent and ground sheets to dry. Even though it wasn’t warm, it was windy and things dried out pretty quickly.
In the afternoon, the wind started to pick up and it got pretty cold. We put on an extra layer of clothes to try to stay warm, but mostly just kept walking. We managed to find a spot for dinner that was slightly out of the wind. But after dinner the winds picked up again.
We had planned to walk a few more miles today, but when we saw a wash we thought would be out of the wind, we decided to stop. The spot wasn’t as protected as we thought, and it was a real struggle to get the tent up. At one point we thought about just giving up on the tent, but we realized that the extra warmth it would provide out of the wind was pretty important. With the help of a lot of big rocks and some patience, we managed to get it up.
As we lay in our sleeping bags now, the wind has thankfully died down. It is still quite cold, but that is tolerable. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer, which we are looking forward to.
So far, the wind has really been the hardest thing to deal with in the Basin. There is no place to escape from the wind which can be mentally challenging at times.