Good day … made good time & stopped early … it’s nice to be able to enjoy a little sunshine after pitching the tent!
Sadly, the nice campground did not have a dryer, or dry enough air to dry my shoes or socks overnight … another morning putting my feet into cold, wet socks & shoes—ugh. The tent was dry, though & in spite of the altitude, it wasn’t terribly cold.
Big news of the morning was going over 500 miles! Somehow this one seems more significant than the others—500 miles is “serious hiking.” Made myself a 500-mile marker out of pine cones—it was so nice to have a medium besides rocks! A few yards down the trail I came across another 500-mile marker that was about 3 times the size of mine … nice to know I’m not the only one for whom it is significant!
It was really, a pretty uneventful day. The trail has not been nearly as smooth as I’d hoped—it’s been muddy and rutted most of the way since that dammed creek yesterday afternoon. I think there is a heard of Elk also headed to Utah—I have been walking in their (deep & rutted) tracks & fresh scat all day! In spite of the less-than-optimum condition of the trail, there has been very little elevation change/hills, so I made really good time all day, which was nice.
Today I kept my feet DRY — hooray!! I haven’t crossed a creek since mid-morning. The down side is that without creeks, the only water sources are stock tanks. For the uninitiated, a stock tank is a muddy pond for livestock and wildlife. They generally have plenty of bugs, algae, and dirt, and are my last choice for water. I waited til I was out of creek water later this afternoon & finally filled up at “Foot In Tree Tank.” I managed to miss most of the algae and bugs, but it’s looking & smelling kinda rough. I’ll be boiling it for my dinner & crossing my fingers my filter gets the worst of the bacteria for my drinking water. It might be time to break out those Crystal Light packets I’ve been carrying to mask the taste.
The weather has been chilly and very windy—it’s going to be a noisy night with Agnes’ rain fly flapping away. Now that the sun has gone down, the temps have dropped fast … grateful for my warm, toasty sleeping bag!
Daily Miles: 20.9
Total Miles: 518.1