Daily Miles: 19
Total Miles: 186
It got quite cold last night. Luckily, it wasn’t wet as well, so we only had to deal with one thing. It was nice to wake up in the morning to dry gear.
As we were packing up in the dark, we starting to hear a noise. At first we thought JJ was singing, but then we realized it was a bull making a moaning noise. Apparently he wasn’t too happy that we were in his space, because after a few minutes, he started to hee-haw like a donkey. He never came close to us, but definitely kept his eye on us until we left.
A lot of the walking today was cross country through the sage brush and rocks. Our heels have been sore lately and this kind of walking really makes them feel worse. We both ended up putting an extra sock on one of our feet to give some extra cushion when our feet would slip in our shoes. That definitely helped get through the rest of the day.
We ended up in Louse Canyon (which is part of the West Little Owyhee River). Luckily this canyon was very different than what we were in a few days ago. It was really wide and shallow and mostly filled with dry grass. There was obviously a lot of cow activity in the canyon, so we could often just follow a cow path easily through. We were all glad that it wasn’t a repeat of what we walked through a few days ago.
While we were in the canyon, we stopped for lunch in a nice shady spot near the cliffs. As we were sitting there, a deer came towards us and got quite close before he finally noticed us. We couldn’t believe he had gotten so close. He appeared to have a slight limp, so maybe his mind was preoccupied with other things. It didn’t seem to have any trouble bounding quickly away, though, once it noticed us sitting there.
In the late afternoon, we left the regular route and got onto an alternate which will bring us right into our next trail town, McDermitt. When we were walking down a primitive road, we ran into a guy ranching a ton of acres around here. He was driving a quad and had three very friendly and sweet dogs with him that we played with as we talked with him.
He said he saw some other hikers recently in the same area. We were told by folks in Rome that there are two hikers about two days ahead of us. Most of the time it feels like we are completely alone out here, so it would be crazy to see another hiker on the route.
As we continued on the alternate, we came to some really fantastic views of a big valley which is surrounded on all sides by different mountain ranges. We really enjoyed the view after so much monotonous grassy hills for the past week or so. We are looking forward to seeing what lies beyond McDermitt.