CDT Day 71 — September 4
somewhere else in The Basin to really straight road in The Basin
Cloudy Scoot and Toot Camp to Flat as it Needs to Be Camp
Miles hiked: 22.7
Total miles: 1255.5
Ahhhhh, the Basin. Hot? Yes. Flat? Yes, it is now. Shade? Nope. Water? Some, for now. We’re in it for sure. Bigly.
Up in the dark and hiking by 5am. We weren’t banking on getting the same cloud cover today and wanted to have a productive morning so we could hunker down in the heat of the day. The road started us with easy walking, up high on a hill thing with expansive views of the desolate basin below once it was light enough to see. My gaze followed our route as it scratched a dusty line straight into the nothing, over the horizon, continuing maybe forever.
But then we went down, losing altitude and context. We chilled at an awesome spring under the shade of a small tree for long enough to fill our bottles and eat a bunch. Then we were back into the desert, following the road through the sagebrush and under some power lines. Our sunbrellas earned their weight.
At around noon, not far from the next spring, we searched for a shred a shade to make home. Overgrown sage, standing about five feet tall was the best we could find. We planted our umbrellas as best we could, then hunkered in the pathetic shade, waiting for clouds or darkness.
It was too hot to sleep, or do anything really. About 85°F in our shade. I fought a losing battle to stay hydrated and noodled on my phone between staring contests with the bushes. By 5:30pm, we’d had enough and disassembled our temporary abode to keep hiking.
Crunchberry, Bearman, then Rooster were gathered at the piped spring when Spice and I arrived. The water was goooood and cool. A little sandy too. I drank as much as I could and filled my bottles as the others traded stories and Spice caught them up with her bizarre tale. We rolled out in a long procession to hike into the night.
Six miles of deep sand brought us to sunset. Spice and I left the others to camp, and pushed on into the dark to the next water. The next spring, an electric well, also had great water. From there, 32.5 miles to the next drinkable source. We filtered 11 liters for the two of us, a hopeful rather than carefully calculated number.
A couple of miles later, we are home on a hard gravel plain, next to the road that will take us in more or less a straight line for the next twenty miles. 11:30pm. I wish I could hike all night, but sleep will not be denied. Enough water? We’ll see tomorrow.