Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 67 - Dry and drier

Not much happened today, other than a continuing expanse of desert. The dry stretch between Weasel and Brenton was just that--dry, save for a few unappetizing puddles. About midday, I did see an amazing mirage of a large blue reservoir, but it was a few miles off trail and private to boot.

We did run into a kind older woman working for BLM. She offered us a few liters of water, which we gratefully accepted. We could have made it without, but this way we were much less stressed.

We accompanied most of the day by Plains megafauna. Most notably, the beige Pronghorn Antelope, who are equal measures springy and curious. I'll see one a few hundred yards away, and it will bounce effortlessly away, then pause to stare at me. Curious about what I am, then immediately alarmed and spring off into the horizon. Like giant tan bunnies.

Also, a smattering of horned toads, sunbathing on the trail. They are armored all over, and look tiny and indestructible.

We've upped the mileage to get out of the Great Divide Basin ASAP, and are even hungrier and more tired as a result. Plus, our packs are just so heavy from carrying so much water, amplifying the hunger and exhaustion.

I was excited to see a good harbinger as we approached camp, a near vertical rainbow. And at the end of the rainbow, a vertical culvert with water. The water had a thick layer of film on top, but I hope we can slough it off in the morning. Also rather macabre, we found the bones of a large animal scattered around the water. I imagine a cow must have wandered into the ostensibly cow-proof enclosure but was unable to find a way out. Depressing and odd.

I've decided to count down the days left in the basin. Starting tomorrow, we have two. Wish us luck.

Mileage: 33mi from past Weasel Spring to enclosed spring past Brenton

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