Miles: 29

Camp: My CDT mile 1420.3

With nothing but a long road walk without much to look at, I had to find ways to keep myself busy today. I spent a good portion of the morning looking for Uberdude’s lost hat, one he holds a sentimental attachment to. I looked and looked as hard as I could, happy to have something to distract me from the road and my increasing pain in my foot. Unfortunately I couldn’t help my friend, sorry Uber!

The pain begins as a tingling in the ball of my foot and toes, then becomes a sharp, shooting pain in two of my toes. It is intense enough to invoke tears, a pain so harsh that I have to yell to let it out…and I just keep walking.

I decided to distract myself by writing a poem, something I used to do all of the time and stopped at some point in my life. I’m pretty happy with it…it has been a while and I will vow to write more poetry as I hike on. It’s kind of fun…though the WordPress app won’t let me format it the way I’d like:

As the divide crawls north, it is in contrast with itself

The horizon exudes distance, a mountain range just out of reach

When 50 miles past, it was the valleys we could not touch

And so it goes on the divide, always filling us with the unattainable.

After creating the poem, I simply walked watching the horizon become more and more desolate. There will be no mountains for a while, the Great Basin is beginning. Herds of antelope ran across the landscape, water was scarce. I had no water report for this section and began to worry about what I had, was it enough? There was nothing to rely on according to maps, as all areas that are blue are apparently too saline to drink.I won’t die in 30 miles of this…but it was getting hotter and wasn’t going to be fun.

Soon, a pickup truck stopped. Two young men offered me water on their way to work! I filled up my bottles, thanking them profusely. Lifesavers!

Not long after I found a drainpipe running under the road. There was no water in the creek there, so I crawled in for lunch. It was shady and offered a steady breeze. “This is paradise,” I thought as I elevated my feet against the opposite wall. The thought only of one hiking through the desert sun on a long road with no shade in sight. I didn’t want to leave, but I was determined to get to town and figure out my foot. 

The day continued on, hot and shadeless. I found a random spring near a saline creek and filled all of my bottles for the day, heaving a very heavy pack down the road. About 5 cars stopped all day to offer water and one man even gave me an apple. People in Wyoming are very nice!

When I couldn’t stand walking any longer, I found a spot to call home for the night. It was nice and flat, nestled among some sagebrush. A baby coyote ran behind me, following the calls of it’s mother somewhere in the distance. Boy, I do love the desert. I even decided to cowboy camp for the first time since New Mexico. It feels right to just lay on the ground looking up at the sky. Now what to do about this painful foot?

Dinner: mac and cheese with tuna, bacon bits and more cheese.

Nothing but road.
Drainpipe lunch