Day 21: Waterless Stretch – Jay Creek Road to Baldy Lake 15 miles

The hunt for water begins. Yesterday we had a twelve mile stretch without water which is doable. But today is over 20 miles and that can get tricky. We dried camp the night before and had less than a liter to get to Seven Tank Creek. In the early morning, I drink less. It’s cool and I’m usually not sweating as much. We had all intentions of heading to the tank which is a watering hole for cows but with all the rain we had last week, the creek was flowing and we filled up for the next waterless section. This means cameling up which entails drinking as much as you can and hopefully your body stores it like a camel.

I drank a liter, and carried two plus liters. We headed up the last known creek and were back into cow territory. These cows were a bit more docile as they were busy munching away at there grassy fields. This Momma and Calf were hanging next to the trail when I came around the bend. She moved ever so slightly, lifted her tail and evacuated her bladder, right in front of me! I was thinking, she’d be a great thru-hiker as we are always peeing in the woods.

Teach them early to void themselves whenever a human is around. Well, I got my picture and off I went.

Today wasn’t a tough day. It was fairly easy going but a lot of road walking. Triple-Z and I commiserated that road walking is no fun! It’s not that we are truly on a highway. It’s hard packed dirt with little scenic value and when you walk like that for miles, it’s just tedious. This was another work day as we call them. You have to take the long walks in order to get the rewards of the tall peaks and expansive vistas.

On the plateaus you can see forever. Triple-Z has an app on her phone called Peak Finder so when we get to a place like this, she whips it out, and we try to guess the peaks. It’s always amazes me when we recognize the mountains that we hiked over the day before or a week earlier. These mountains tops are usually 11000-14000′ tall and they stay in our view for quite some time.

We had a variety of terrain today from the open fields, to meadows, to the aspen groves and just plain dirt with an assortment of rocks, boulders and pebbles just to add to the mix. The interesting thing about this trail is if you don’t like what you’re walking through, don’t worry because it’s gonna change in a matter of a few miles! Both Triple-Z and I are trying to get more miles in to play catch-up but we are pretty darn exhausted by 4pm. Today we stopped at Baldy Lake turnoff.

So we don’t have water for another twelve miles and I’m down to half liter and Triple-Z is completely out. So after we hiked our 15 miles, we set up camp and proceed off trail down 250′ rocky trail for 1/2 mile to get water. And then climb back up to camp. Needless to say, I’m in my tent laying on my back as I finish up. Just another day on the trail, without rain!

As a deer longs for streams of water, so do I long for you, God. Psalm 42:1

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