ODT day 3 (24 miles)

After being awoken a few tikes in the campground by star gazers, drinking campers and our neighbors using a foot pump to pump up there sleeping pad numerous times throughout the night. I awoke at 5 am only to discover my neoair had a leak from a goat head and would have to be fixed, I started up breakfast while Salty and Swept Away woke up shortly after and the three of us packed up and headed down to the reservoir to begin our shoreline line hike. 4 miles of side hiking along talus and scree, it was a serious workout but we made decent time in the cool of the day.

Walking the banks of the Owyhee resevior

We heard coyotes crying across the way and were treated to a large flock of white pelicans sitting out in the water. We came to our junction with the next canyon we had to climb up. We checked the water and saw a trough about 6 miles away….after yesterday’s water woes we loaded up with 4-5 liters each and headed up the canyon. It was a great hike up we followed some cow paths and swept away did a great job of finding our path. We finally climbed the canyon wall, only to have to climb down, cross the canyon and climb to a Jeep road. Ahh road walking, something most hikers dread or skip or find an excuse why they hate it…not me, swept away and salty. The three of us were giddy to walk a wide road free of cheat grass and willows.

We made great time and as the sun got higher and themometer crept higher we found an olive tree to rest under and enjoy the shade and snack. I worked on a few blisters and repaired some gear. Ahh break chores they never seem to end.

We kept to the road and found a large trough with a spring fed pipe feeding it. The water was cold and refreshing we drank deep, found the hole in my sleeping pad to be fixed later and then discovered our next reliable water was 24 miles away. 12 liters or 24 pounds of water went into my pack, the girls each took 8L.

Finding a hole in the Neo-Air, photo courtesy of Swept Away

We worked our way cross country through terrible cheat grass along a large climb to the plateau. We eventually joined another series of roads and continued walking them through the high prairie of damage brush and cheat grass. It was a beautiful day really but the temps were in the high 80’s and the extra water weight was a killer. We settled in for the night at the junction of the official route and the first alternate which goes down the Owyhee Canyon. With the heat and our energy levels we had decided to stick the the official route and and come back in the spring with Suzy and some friends and take a guided rafting trip down the river instead of battling the willows and terrain in the canyon in this heat.

Cheat grass in the shoes

Cheat grass in the socks-oy vey

As I lay down my head an owl just flew by on the hunt and bat is working his wings to eat some insects. With the cry of the coyotes I’ll drift off to sleep and look forward to walking another day through this stunning yet remote landscape.