Hayduke day 31

Day 31, 17 miles, just before dog flat
In the middle of the night I think I hear an animal scurrying around but when I turn my headlamp on I realize it’s the snow that has been accumulating on my tent. The roof is seriously sagging under the weight, I’m glad I put those guy lines on. I push the ceiling and woosh there it goes! 
When I look out in the morning there is about 1/2 inch snow on the ground and my tent is pretty wet. That combined with the sand storm from last night makes for a messy tent. Ugh. 

It takes some courage to get up but I’m finally packed and ready to go around 9. Zach is still is in his tent so I set off by myself. I’m wearing what I call my ninja suit. Which is my Frogg Togg rain suit with the wide pant legs tucked into my black neoprene socks pulled up high. I also have my black water proof over mitts and my umbrella. Ready for battle!
The creek is running fast this morning but it’s all sandy so it’s good we got water last night. It looks like a mini version of the Dirty Devil. Crossing it today is definitely tougher since I can’t tell the depth but it’s never more than ankle deep and I have my neoprene socks so I don’t care as much. I’m pretty much expecting to get wet feet so just slosh around. I’m a little worried about staying warm enough but I’m fine all day. 

(I just have shorts and my merino wool long sleeve underneath the rain suit).
At some point there is some serious snow coming down and I’m so glad I have my umbrella. It keeps my head and torso dry and I don’t get drips down my back. Somehow I’m enjoying this snowy walk in the creek. I put some music on which provides a nice sound track. 

I was really looking forward to getting to the road and some easy walking for a while. Boy was I in for a surprise! The road is super muddy and I’m slip sliding all over the place. It’s incredible hard to make some progress. Mud skating is not my favorite sport. It’s quite funny when I have a James Taylor song playing about sliding down the road. I’m sure this is not the type of sliding he meant. 

Luckily the weather is improving at this point and there are some sucker holes providing sunshine. I pull out my tent and dry it somewhat in the bit of breeze I catch. I give up after a few minutes and continue on. The sun keeps trying to poke through and a little while later I pull out my tent again. I also manage to get ahold of Greenleaf on the phone so now I’m wrestling this giant green thing with one hand while holding the phone with the other. It’s a pretty funny scene. I am successful at fully drying the tent this time which makes me very happy. 
The road improves somewhat at this point and I’m on a ridge with cool views. I’m soaking up every ray of sun there is, it feels so good. Before the road dips down I have my first real sit down break of the day. Lunch at 4 pm. Hurray!! 
The rest of the road is sometimes reasonable and sometimes awfully muddy again. When it looks like it might start raining again I give up and find a spot for my tent. 
What a day!!! 

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