Day 8, 15.5 miles
In my dream a coyote grabs my arm and I can’t move it. I wake up with a scream and find out I was sleeping on my arm and it had gotten numb. Luckily the rest of my dreams are less eventful and I wake up well rested.
We have a bit more road walking to do until we hit the spot where we enter Lockhart canyon. We cross country down the drainage until an impassible pour off. It’s a scenic spot and eventhough it’s still early we have our lunch break there. Haiku even breaks out her hula hoop. I break out my umbrella instead because the sun is starting to get pretty intense. We’ve suddenly gone from too chilly and cold wind in the past days to very sunny and hot today. It’s nice in the morning but after lunch it quickly gets to be unpleasant for me. The umbrella helps a bit but now I’m wishing for a bit of that chilly wind. Baked Pie is not a good pie in this instance.
We follow some cattle tracks around the pour off as described in our notes and walk cross country until we drop down a side drainage again. We’re on the lookout for water now but the first spring mentioned in our notes is dry. We see some wetness in the rocks higher up but that doesn’t help us much. Luckily we hadn’t counted on that one so we’re carrying enough. I’m cutting it pretty close but am well hydrated. We soon join a dirt track and walk that down to the spring we are counting on. The road is sandy and it’s hot and I’m not having a great deal of fun. I’m hoping for a good shade spot near the water.
We find water running over the road and as soon as I can I dip my cup in and douse my head with water. Such a relief! There is a good amount of water but Haiku is convinced there may be better water closer to the spring. I think we’re pretty much there so start filtering while she drops her pack and scouts a bit further. She comes back promising a pool and shady ledges. I ask if there are margaritas with umbrellas as well but that’s asking too much. Her spot is so much nicer than our initial spot, kudos to Haiku for finding it. The water is probably just as alkaline as where I got my first two liters but so much nicer to hang out. We spread our stuff out over the ledges. I wash my hair, the solar collectors are humming, we wash our socks. I even start to get chilly in the shade. Sweetness!
Less sweet is the water itself. We soon find out what alkaline water means. Besides it possibly wreaking havoc on your intestines it also tasted awful. Salty water, yuck! We try to make it more palatable with drink mixes and Nuun tablets but it’s still gross.
After a good long break we continue on, the heat has subsided and it’s so much more pleasant. The dirt road also becomes less sandy so we crank out the last 4.5 miles of the day at a pretty quick pace. Haiku and I talk about our jobs and Prana and I talk about gear.
We’re camped just at the start of another cross country section which we’ll tackle in the morning.