Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 1597
There is an obvious convenience to having a town be right on trail…you can just walk in and not have to worry about getting a hitch. But the other side of that is that there is almost always paved road walking involved. Yesterday we had about four miles of paved roads walking into town and today we had more leaving town.
We decided not to set our alarm this morning, and instead to just get up whenever we woke up. Well, that turned out to be 5:30am. We both woke up and decided we might as well start packing up.
We started walking at 6:30am and had about five miles of paved road walking to start the day. It was nice and cool this morning which was welcomed. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of traffic on the road and no dogs to contend with.
Eventually we made it to a dirt road and started to head into the hills. The tread today was mostly sand or sandstone. The landscape felt like it was changing too, as we stayed at lower elevations.
We gradually made our way up onto a rocky mesa. There were great views over the valley below. At times we could see other mesas and really interesting rock formations, including several giant boulders which appeared to be perched on sandstone pedestals.
There was hardly any need to look at our navigation app today. The trail was heavily marked with posts that were painted white at the tops. There were also many cairns today…a lot of the day the cairns seemed to be placed every 20 feet or so.
The weather today turned out to be really hot. We were walking through a lot of juniper and pinyon pines, which don’t always provide a lot of shade. We tried to stay hydrated, even though this is a pretty dry stretch. We had to carry water out of town for a 15 mile stretch and are now in another 14 mile water carry.
Our one water source today was a spring. There had been some damage to a fence that kept out cows in the past, so now they have been in the spring mucking things up. At this point, it is just a shallow pool of water with lots of little swimming worms and other debris. We ended up just filtering the water through a bandana to get rid of all the bits. The water was quite clear, but tasted a little funny.
We ended up stopping a little early today, because we were heading into a long stretch without trees. It was actually hard to find a workable campsite tonight. We wandered a bit off trail and found a few Jeffrey pines we could hang on. Beardoh’s hang is super long tonight, and this is a rare night when we are camped out of sight from each other. Not ideal, but we were just happy that we didn’t have to try to hang in the juniper trees.
We are planning to get up early tomorrow morning, because we will need to walk 25 miles in order to get to an area with trees for hanging.