August 13, 2013
Hillside near oil field to 3 miles past Bull Spring
I had great ambitions of getting in another 40 mile day and even made it on trail at 5:45am. It was light enough to hike without using a headlamp, but just barely. I usually have a tough time getting myself going in the morning but being up and hiking as the sun rises is one of my favorite parts of thru-hiking, and the weather tends to be cooler as well, which is a boon for a place such as the Great Divide Basin.
It was easy going to Benton spring where I ran into fellow SOBO Bert from Belgium. I've crossed paths with him a few times now over the course of the hike and I must say its nice to see a familiar person every once in a while, even if it's someone I really don't know very well. Bert and I passed each other a few times throughout the day.
So, about that 40 mile goal... Turns out that about 10 miles into the day the trail decided to turn into a sandbox off and on for about 10 miles. That was some frustrating hiking, slipping back a little every step. To add to the difficulty underfoot there was also a lovely thunderstorm that rolled through just as the sandpit was ending. It rained/hailed for a good 30-45 minutes with the occasional thunder, but only one lightning bolt that I saw. It definitely made me hike faster for a while just to stay warm as I was being drenched. Normally I would take cover under some trees, however, the closest thing to a tree was 6" high sagebrush for miles. Long story short, by the time I made 35 miles for the day at Bull Spring I was already feeling spent and really didn't feel up to hiking another five miles, so I didn't. After eating dinner at the spring I hiked for another hour and then set up camp. It leaves me with 25 miles instead of 23 tomorrow so no big deal really. I should still make it in time for dinner and may even get some food resupply shopping done as well. Oh, and I am REALLY looking forward to a shower and laundry. It's been far too long (11 days? & almost 300 miles) since my last shower. Yikes.