Daily Miles: 12
Total Miles: 12
Yesterday was a fun day, as we all met up for the hike. We took the bus from Bend to Vale with Qball and met up with JJ in Vale. There is always a lot of laughter as we reconnect with hiking friends and puts us in such a positive mood.
This morning, we went for breakfast at the local diner and then got picked up by Tim, who is the director of a local non-profit, Friends of Owyhee, which works to protect the Owyhee area. He was kind enough to give us a ride to the eastern terminus of the trail, which was about an hour away.
The trail started for us on a small piece of rocky land which sticks out into the Owyhee Reservoir. We climbed out to the furthest rocky knob and took some photos. Finally, we were ready to start walking around 10:15am.
Because of some poison ivy around the first few miles of the trail, we decided to do a recommended alternate which had us on a dirt road. Given Qball’s sensitivity to poison ivy, we didn’t want to take any chances. The road was easy walking and we quickly gained elevation as the road switchbacked up to the top of the canyon.
We probably stayed on the road longer than we should have, giving ourselves an extra mile or two of walking, but eventually we made it back to the official route around 3:30pm when we hit our first water source (a really nice trick tank).
The rest of the afternoon was spent walking cross country through the golden hills which had been surrounding us all day. The walking was fairly easy, although there was a lot of walking across slopes, which can be hard on our feet.
The weather today was quite perfect. We started with blue skies and a nice breeze. As the day progressed, clouds started to roll in and the breeze turned into a full wind. It was still nice for walking, but we knew that the clouds were a foreshadowing of the rain we expect to get overnight and tomorrow.
We found a flat-ish spot just out of a wash for camping around 6pm. Since we expect rain overnight, we set up our hammock tarp, which we are sharing as our shelter. It is always a pain to sleep on the ground with the tarp, because it feels to restrictive. One of these days, we’ll end up buying a tent for trails like this, but we just haven’t found a tent we love yet. Both Qball and JJ are using brand new tents, so it was fun to watch them setting up for the first time on trail.
We hung out having dinner and chatting, before we all went to bed around 7:30pm. There have been some sprinkles this evening, but no real rain yet.