miles hiked 23-24
We all slept terribly last night, the truck traffic on the highway was constant all night and only being about 100’ away from the highway made for a loud evening. We got up at 4 and got going as quick as we could to try to beat the heat of the day and make some miles since it was forecasted to be 96. The trail started up a steep climb to the canyon rim above the Owyhee. Once there we were met with a cushy dirt road to carry us most of the morning. We made great time and marveled at the wild beauty of the canyon and river below.
As the sun crept higher and temps wore in so did our disdain for the 3 gallons of water and 6 days of food we were all schlepping, last time my pack was this heavy was on the Appalachian Trail back in 1996. Oh well we pushed through and made our miles. The trail today had us spend a few miles at a time going cross country. The cheat grass again was sticking in our shoes but we seemed to take it all I stride. On the next toad salty and I were walking ahead if swept away when the tell tale sound of a large rattler stopped us in our tracks. Off to the side of the road 35’ Away the large snake slinked off I to the sage brush.
The weather was hot and we tried to find shade anywhere we could for a break or siesta but it never happened. We tried various ways to rig our umbrellas for a lunch break but eventually we gave up and held them each of us curling up in our own little spot of shade to try to stay cool. There was this awesome sage bush today at lunch and it smelled like fresh nectarines all these little fuzzy wild bees were on the flowers and it was great way to spend some nature time while eating.
The rest of the day we had some clouds come in and out providing us some shade and cooler temps. As the day turned to early wavering were were in the middle of a long cross country section that took us down an dry creek bed and then up over the rim more. I looked at our map and noticed a tank which means potential water and a road we could use to get to the same spot, funny it’s the same road we are walking cross country towards. We Berliner for the road and saw the most glorious site 100 cows walking down to a trough of water!
We have set up camp so that we can enjoy the evening without disturbing the cows. In the am we will head on down get our fill of water and hike the 20 miles to three bar and the start of our Owyhee river hiking. We are aiming to end at some hot springs indicated on our maps so we can enjoy a warm swim since we missed out on showers in town.
I also heard from Suzy on my Inreach and she made it home today from Boise and said Karluk was very happy to be home. She is getting an old phone to Virgo so he can set it up for salty to use out here with the maps and data books so by the time we get to McDermitt she’ll be back in action.
All of us today commented how happy we are hiking together we make a good team and get along well. I’m happy because I think we were all a bit nervous since we hadn’t hiked together and this trail requires us to stay together and work as a team.
Tomorrow makes day seven a full week in trail and I’m happy to say I can’t wait to see what else this trail has to offer.