We started off the day with one more meal at the Say When casino with Ron who agreed to cache our water 12 miles up the way so we didn’t have to carry it the full 45 miles to our next reliable source.
We started out with about 8 miles on pavement we listed to the Joe Rogan Podcast with Elon Musk and the miles clicked on by. We finally made it to the dirt road and walked along a ranch and power lines until we found our water cache and loaded up. The trail then followed a series of dirt roads along some ranch land, of course a mile down the trail we came to a trough over flowing with water form a pipe, oh well better to play it safe.
We began an ascent by the old Mitchell ranch which was fenced but basically an old adobe style ranch house that nature is winning the battle on. A mile up the hill from it and another trough was there with piped water spilling over, damn we have been carrying 12 L for nothing!
The trail then started us up a drainage into mountains, and our map indicated we were entering the Oregon Mountain Range, and it was a stunner. We turned up a creek bed and bushwhacked our way up the canyon. At a creek crossing we turned and there about 50’ Away was a large bull laying in the dirt. He stood up when he saw us gave us a stare and we gave him a wide bearth and all was well.
We then reached the junction of three drainages and to our left laid a 1600’ climb up a very steep slope covered in sage brush that varied from shin to waist high. We all dig in and started up hill. Salty charged ahead, clearly Simone doesn’t live at sea level, Swept Away and I took our time and stopped a few times to catch our breath. Finally after about 45 minutes we all reached the top of the mountain, 7,600’ in elevation our highest point so far.
The sky was starting to turn orange so as we walked down the primitive toad we discussed camping options. For some reason we turned around and on the hill we had just climbed stood that same bull just hanging out eating some grass.
We eventually came to a stand of mountain mahogany trees and decided to camp among them for a wind break and also the ground was soft and Duffy. We all enjoyed a spectacular sunset over the mountains and were thrilled to see a new type of landscape in our future.
Finally we cooked dinner, made some jokes and each of us drifted off to sleep. It felt great to be back in the trail after being in town, for some reason on this trip my desire to be in town is very low. Maybe it’s because when we are out here on the trail we are totally alone with no other people or noises, going to town even a small one seems loud and chaotic