Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 123 - Greetings from Mars

At some point today, we lost the thread of the trail and wandered off into the desert scrub. I came across the eviscerated carcass of an adult cow. The still furry red hide was drawn tightly over the intact skeleton, like some macabre tent. I would have taken a photo, but I almost retched. The death was recent, the bones unbleached but the flesh already consumed probably by coyotes, then by raptors and insects.

And less then a mile later, amid the harsh dry landscape, a reassuring sign of life--a herd of five wild horses: white, strawberry roan, grey and white paint, bay with black points, bay with a white blaze and stockings. All different coats, yet in one family unit. When I approached, the horses didn't startle, but drew near each other, their tails towards the center, and their heads spread out in a fan formation, watchfully monitoring my progress past their territory. We passed, quickly for us, too slowly for the horses, and the horses went back to grazing.

Signs of decay and vigor so close together, a reminder of how quickly life cycles through the desert environment.

Beautiful walking today, up and down mesas, winding through still alien rock formations.

Water far apart in this section, ~15-17mi between good sources. Long day today, but continuing to crawl towards Grants.

Mileage: ~26mi from near Deadman Peaks to near Seco Tank

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