Day 2 (21 miles)

The night sky here is incredible before drifting off to sleep I could see the Milky Way. I woke at 5 today made some coffee and the three of us were off and on our way by 6 am. The route took us down some drainages through the cheat grass and the sage brush. We marveled at the thistle and then a couple hours in saw our first wild horse of the trip. A beautiful bay stallion with a black mane and stockings. He trotted up to a ridge and we watched him walk away from us. A few minutes later we saw 6 mule deer one being a large buck.

Painted canyon in the early morning light.

The canyons today were awesome painted canyon was a wonderful way to start the day with various colors of rock and pockmarked cliffs. We enjoyed the fun walk through a geologic wonder. We stopped at about 9:45 for a break wondering why we hadn’t gotten to the lake and camp ground yet. It was then we realized our folly. Being westbound we need to read all the data in the opposite way, what we thought was 17 miles yesterday was only 10, whoops and the lake was not 9 miles but 24.7 from where we started….the real issue was we didn’t have a lot of water and it was already getting hot. After consulting our maps we saw a trough that might have water, it was listed as unreliable but hey given our situation we had to go see.

The unreliable water tank had some great delicious water.

When we arrived an hour later we were greeted by the grossest looking water if algae, we scooped it off and were then treated to some awesome murky water. It tastes fine so we took what we each thought we would need for the next 8 miles.

An hour later I was dizzy and nauseas the heat was getting to me, we found a lone juniper teee in the wash and we decided to take a break 45 minutes later I woke up and said, “ I want some mango” . I ate a luxe and said mmmmm, according to salty and swept away I then proceeds to snore some more. I finally awoke and we headed our cross country.

We made our way to the topmost leslile gulch writhing the next half mile all 3 of us would drink our remains water. And we still had about 5 miles to go and it was hot as hell.we made our way down the canyon which was simply stunning with amazing rock formations and caves. We finally hit the Jeep road and saw a privy.

Leslie gulch

Swept Away went to use the privy and we sat waiting then I heard a car. I held my water bottle upside down and he stopped, 2 gallons later and the three of us could drink freely for the last 4.7 miles to the campgrounds. We arrived to find a few cars and more then a few campers who offered us water. We gladly excepted, made dinner and headed down to the lake.

A swim and laundry felt great we area all coated in salt and scratched up from the cross country. With clean bodies and full bellies it’s time to get some rest and tackle the next leg to Rome.

Hopefully we learned our lesson today and will or be carrying more water than we think we need.