Day 15: Black Hills

Overall great day!

Left later than I would have liked since we were at the mercy of the shuttle driver / trail angel to get us to the trail head. One of the coolest things about this adventure has been learning about the “Trail Angel” community—a network of volunteers who pitch in in numerous ways to help the hiker community. They provide transportation, water, food, free laundry, and even sometimes lodging for thru-hikers. Today as we crossed a large wash about 17-18 miles from the trail head (and 16-17 miles from the next reliable water source), we found a stash of about 34 gallons of water left for hikers … just what we needed to push through.

The storms that moved through last night were pretty ferocious & woke me several times—was so nice to be inside! Unfortunately, they did not all move through … we spent the morning eyeing the sky hoping the clouds would break up & dissipate. By lunch it was pretty clear they weren’t going to do that, so we spent the afternoon racing the storm. The goal was to make it to Beehive Well—about 20 miles down the trail. I remembered from running this section of trail in the Oracle 50 miler in January that the aid station there was at the base of a bluff that would be somewhat protected from the wind and would (hopefully) have cactus-free spots to pitch a tent.

We got to here just as the rain started at about 4:00. Got the tent set up & jumped inside w/our packs to wait out what we were expecting to be several hours of stormy weather.

Gotta say I was REALLY glad Parker was with me. I was not at all confident the tent would stand up to the winds & rain that were coming. We huddled together for about 45 min contemplating a cold dinner and really early bedtime. Then the rain stopped & birds started singing! We finally poked our noses out to see the clouds breaking up & the nastier weather headed to the southwest of us. Yes!!

Turned out to be a pleasant—if chilly—evening. Fired up the stove had hot chow, shared a candy bar for dessert & even took a little tour of the old windmill and water tank next to our camp. Here’s hoping that’s the last of this storm system!

Daily Miles: 19.5
Total Miles: 228.2

18 thoughts on “Day 15: Black Hills”

    1. Charlie,
      Yeah … I was not expecting this much wet weather … fortunately, I’ve been able to hunker down for most of it … the good news is that the rain is making the landscape beautiful & filling up extra water sources!

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