Day 12 – 22.5 miles (190.4 miles)

The day started with a short sprinkle, but then it passed quickly. I wish the clouds would have stayed with me today because it was bloody hot was I was wilting most of the afternoon.

Mostly road walking this morning, it was quick going and at one junction in the middle of nowhere I happened upon a stop sign. Hmmm. I had seen this stop sign in other thru-hikers’ photos and here I was! Later on the same road I came upon a “Log Trucks” sign. This rancher must have a sense of humor. No trees for miles.


I stopped for a long lunch at Buckhorn Spring, which was really just a dank cow mud hole, but it was the last water for the day and the next morning, so I tried to ignore the rancid smell, prefiltering the brown water through my shirt- twice, filtered it through my Sawyer Squeeze, and then added a few drops of bleach to each liter. Yuck. 6 liters later I’m still imagining it could make me ill. I’ve drank lots of water like this, but it’s been a long time.


This is after all my treatments...Still brown.

This afternoon I decided to take a side trip down into Orejana Canyon. At the bottom I found another cow tank with water, at it was about the same condition as the last one. I primary walked in the dry creek bed which was mostly a mixture of sandy rock. There was small puddles of water most of the way, but again they looked stagnant and brown. I had already filled up anyway. The going was slow, I was baking in the sun, and the heat was making me not want to eat. All day I was forcing myself to eat little bites, but had no appitite, and I’m sure that made me slower. The canyon was pretty, and towards where I was going to hop back on the trail, big boulders the size of cars started choking up the canyon.


By the time I made it on top I was done. The trip in the canyon had tacked on some miles, and I was ready to stop walking.


I’m set up in some sagebrush again, I haven’t seen trees all day.

I only ate half my dinner, which is a shame cause it was a Backpacker’s Pantry Beef Stroganoff. I wanted to make a strawberry cheesecake for desert (another BP delight), but I didn’t want to waste it if I wasn’t hungry.

Tomorrow I’ll hit the Hart Mountain Refuge, and will pass by the headquarters at the end if the day. They have water and bathrooms! That sounds down right luxurious right about now.

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