Miles: 20 (plus about 2 from getting lost)
Camp: CDT mile 274

When I woke up this morning, there was a thin layer of frost on my sleeping quilt. I was never cold though, so thumbs up to Enlightened Equipment.

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As Anvil had warned, blister burning isn’t a magic bullet, it just helps them heal faster. Therefore, my walk out of camp was slow and labored. They definitely felt better, but there was still an uncomfortable pain whenever I took a step.

We climbed under a barbed wire fence to get back to the highway. This is something we do a lot out here…it’s so common I can’t believe I haven’t written about it yet. We usually find a spot that has the most clearance underneath and commando crawl right under, but sometimes the lowest barbs are too close for comfort. The fence this morning is my favorite kind, one that doesn’t have any barbs on the lowest wire.

The walking was on a two lane highway after that, a painful crawl for me as my friends moved ahead of me one by one. Cerveza is feeling much better, so I had the caboose to myself all morning. I decided to find my zen with it and reminded myself that the blister pain is not a real injury, it is temporary.

We were on a mesa high above everything, including miles of rolling lava fields. We were to face that this afternoon. In the meantime we ended up on a cross country route to find an arch. I lost my companions entirely and ended up lost for an hour. In fact I found myself on top of the arch…which was very cool, but far from where I was supposed to be. I had missed the climb down off the mesa and had to backtrack about half a mile to find it. I was in pain and I was frustrated, so I ended up having myself a little cry over the situation.

When I finally got myself together, I made my way off the mesa to the bottom of the arch and found my friends there. We sat for a short while and then walked the 2.2 miles down the highway to our next water source; a cache of bottled water left by a couple who live in the town of Grants. Thank you Mumms! That water was much appreciated and at just the right moment.

We ate lunch there and then proceeded to walk across 8 miles of rolling lava fields. It was hot and terribly hard on the feet. It took it’s toll on the lot of us today, stopping some of us short of our goal. I decided to make up the miles early tomorrow, so hopefully no frozen bag in the morning. The length and difficulty of the day just caught up with me so I have to cut this short…it is hiker midnight (9pm) and I am spent. Town tomorrow.

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We camped in that circular area last night
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Miles of lava

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The arch
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Arch
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So much lava!

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Lava cave

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Looking back on the mesa from camp
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View from the loo
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Water source
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