20.2 (72.2) 4650ft
Ah you silly alarm. Unless your pretty tune is accompanied by a fresh shot of espresso I think you have buckleys at getting me up at these overly ambitious times I keep setting.
It’s a chilly morning so I delay getting up until I see the sun hitting the rocks high up around the little valley I’m sleeping in.
I march up and over a hill, excited that the terrain seems to be changing and a bit more interesting. I hit the water cache just as it’s getting yucky hot so I hide in the tiny amount of shade the cache box provides, and hang with the little lizards there until I can delay the inevitable no more. Onwards!
The interesting terrain disappears and in its place a giant wide expanse of…nothing stretches out before me. No trees, tiny bushes, not a cloud in the sky, and 34 degrees at 1030am. This is going to be fun.
Brutal brutal brutal. Embrace it embrace it embrace it. I try to hide behind tiny trees when they appear sporadically but they provide little to no relief so I continue. And swear. I swear at the sun, at my feet, at no one in particular. I swear at the snakes that they’d better not appear today.
Magically I stumble upon a wash with an actual tree with actual shade!!! Woohoo siesta time! Being out in the exposed open for so long is making me sleeeepy and I have a glorious nap.
The CDT is one giant connect-the-dots, or in this case connect-the-signs. The signs are spaced sporadically and I cross country to get to each one. I have a little celebration everytime I spot the next sign, and throw a mini tantrum when I scan the horizon and can’t find the next. I’m never lost… sometimes I just decide that I want to insert a nice wide curved line where a straight line should be. Artistic license.
I make up many songs to keep my mind occupied and distract me from the heat and monotony of this section. Some of my greatest hits include
“Bunny, do do do do do doo,
ah rabbit rabbit, do do do do do doo,
you are a pretty rabbit
and I want to cuddle you”
Then there’s the crowd pleasing
“I’m going to town tomorrow,
bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be showers and laundry.
Just thinking about tomorrow,
wipes away the sore feet and the sorrow;
I want a bed!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’m in town tomorrow, it’s only 15 miles away.” (Insert appropriate amount of miles as the day goes on). A lot of my songs feature forced inclusion of extra syllables.
The next water is the first really dodgy water of the trail. There are a bunch of cows drinking from it and they scatter as I arrive. I apologise for scaring them and insist we can share but they just moo back and look at me warily. The first water in a tire is too manky to try, so I march on to the next and manage to filter some pretty clear water from under the algae, and it doesn’t taste bad!
Some more rock formations appear, I climb over some hills and I’m finally out of the deadly desert and into some rolling hills. Still exposed but more things to see.
I find a little spot under a low tree (I hit my head setting up!) to cowboy camp.
Town tomorrow (in case the song wasn’t clear enough for you). Woohoo!