Day 30, 21 miles. Last chance creek canyon
I get a head start and leave Zach packing up his last things. There is only a little distance left to Surprise valley and then I pick up a 4WD track going up. It’s a short climb to a better dirt road at the top of the pass. I’m able to call Greenleaf and update my online journal and of course my beloved Facebook. I figure Zach would catch up while I’m sitting there but I guess he needed more time than I thought to get ready.
I continue on and see a small cairned road just before the draw I’m supposed to drop down in. It seems to go in the same direction so I follow it for a bit. I’m curious to see where it leads but to be sure I stay on track I eventually drop down in the wash below.
The wash is easy walking and soon opens up and joins Reese canyon. It continues to be easy walking in the gravelly wash and I get to Last Chance Creek before I know it. How sweet to have an easy scenic walk for a change. Zach finally catches up and we have lunch together at the creek. The water looks nice and clear and has a stronger flow than anticipated probably from recent rains.
We get a weather forecast from the Inreach and it confirms what Greenleaf had told me. The forecast still calls for rain, possibly heavy starting this afternoon and continuing through Friday. For now we still enjoy blue skies with just a wisp of a cloud. We charge our electronics while we still can and I fluff up my sleeping bag in the sun. We’re getting a bit chilly under our shady rock, it feels nice.
We continues our walk through the canyon of Last Chance Creek with the lovely flowing water. The red rocks and blue sky make for a pretty picture. And it continues to be fairly easy walking. We just have to keep crossing the creek and not get sucked into the mud. We startle a lone cow with a yearling and a small calf. Another cow lays dead in the wash scavenged a long time ago.
The sky eventually darkens and clouds over but we only get about ten drops of rain. We dress up and get ready for the storm just to take everything off again five minutes later. Fine by me. Haha.
We do however get a taste of a spring desert wind storm and it’s no fun. We get totally sand blasted and I’m worried about setting up my tent in this. About a half a mile after crossing a dirt road I spot several junipers on a bench above the wash. Maybe they’ll give us some protection against the wind and possible rain storms?
We each find a tree and go about setting up camp. I think I’m doing a pretty good job putting rocks on all my stakes and they seem to hold up well. Then some severe gusts shake my tent and two stakes fly out. Crap! I run out in my down booties and get more and heavier rocks. I dig deeper into the sand and find a more solid layer for the stake sand then put the rocks on. Of course it hasn’t gusted that hard since but this should be solid. As I’m writing this it’s pretty calm out except for the choir of frogs who seem to be very happy.
I wonder what the night will bring.