Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 4 (5/21) Into the Abyss

Based on my observations yesterday, today was the first day I would step into the real desert. I was up at 7:20 and out by 8. Lots of walking through supposedly dry miles. While it was more dry than the previous few days, there was still some water to be found in little creeks. My first human contact for the day came when I met a 3 man trail crew clearing overgrowth from the path. I thanked them for their work and upon chatting further found that this was in prep for a 100 mile race through the desert. I couldn't believe anyone would want to do that, but they  said the same about my hike. I guess we're all just crazy in our own n ways...

It was nice in the early afternoon when I took a break to find that I had a strong signal. I took the opportunity  to call Mom & Michelle on their way to Michelle's internship. It was real nice to hear their voices and I think I'll call Dad tomorrow if I get a chance. Have to space them out to save battery on my phone

For the last few days I had been seeing horse tracks and droppings on the trail and suddenly when I came over a ridge there in the midst of the trail were three brown horses and one white horse. Man, I was shocked too come on them like that. Got to meet Chance briefly and Trish was taking care of the horses so I didn't get to chat with her. They're riding the trail just l like I'm walking it, so out was best to meet my first thru-riders. I carried on while they tended the horses, but soon enough they caught and overtook me on an uphill section. Wow, that looked effortless. I only saw them again from a great distance when they were down at the Rodriguez Spur Tank and I was still on my descent. As I was coming down in to the tank, for about the last mile I was listening to the sound of several men practice shooting cans with all sorts of weapons. Quite a variety of pistols and rifles, including some that absolutely made the hills ring. They kept this up for the best two hours as I relaxed in the shade by the water tank. After awhile, a father and son section hiking pair came up and we chatted for awhile. They do landscape contracting further up north and are working on their hike on the weekends. That probably takes more work and dedication than a thru-hike... Russell was super nice and he gave me a fee Jolly Ranchers, which I now crave more of. They both carried on onto the next climb, but I debated camping at the tank for the night. The deciding factor was the continued shooting in the distance, so I packed up and hit another three miles in the evening. There weren't many good camping spots so I was very glad to find one when I wanted it. I decided to try sleeping under the stars, ' Cowboy Camping' and so far it is pretty near to be able to look out at the sky with no trent in the way. Full report on that tomorrow.

In other outside news, my cousin Wes just had his third child, a baby girl named Kate, so congrats to him (even if she does break the all boys streak...) That's it for now, time to pass out.

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