Day 1 – 22 Miles

When I woke up right before dawn I realized I was within sight of a house. Oops! They hadn’t had any lights on the night before, and the longer I looked I didn’t think anyone was home. Hogback road is not well traveled…and only 1 car passed as I was making coffee and packing up.

I was walking by 7am, and had a good hour on pavement before I took a little detour up a dirt road that looked to cut out about another mile of pavement. I don’t mind dirt roads, but pavement can be rough on the feet.

I started up Miners Draw, a pretty little canyon with periodic rock outcroppings. I found a water trough that still had water in it which was suprising given it was so late in the season. I didn’t fill up since I still had quite a bit. The day looked warm, but the air was COLD and whenever I stopped I needed to put some layers on. In fact when I stopped for lunch at the top of my 2,000’ climb I got out my sleeping bag. I was already exhausted and even though I tried to read some of my e-book, I just wanted to close my eyes.

I could see a dirt tank below still had some water, and found 2 tanks with water left, and a full water trough at Juniper spring with a trickle of clear water still flowing. What a year! Lots of these sources were dry last year, I guess the wet winter and spring really did make a big impact.

I was dragging a little bit…the start of a section hike is always a little rough. I listened to a few podcasts and motored along, really loving the scenery of the rolling Coyote Hills.

I had some cross country sections to hike near the end of the day so put on my gaiters to mitigate the shredding to my legs. It was slow going with lots of ankle twisting rocks hidden in the grasses. There had been a fire here at some point years ago and downed trees created an additional barrior.

When it came time to walk up Snyder Creek in the brush and downed trees I really didn’t see a clear path, but finally stumbled upon a cow trail going up the steep canyon. My feet were feeling the jagged rock walking by this time, and getting to the top was a relief even though the crossed country continued for a bit. There was a full lake of water at the top…this years’ hikers have it pretty good so far in this section!

I stumbled another mile and soon realized there was very little ground I could camp on due to all the rocks. I made my way over to a grove of junipers where some cows had made beds under the branches and claimed a tree all for myself.

A few pronghorn welcomed me to my spot and watched curiously as I set up camp.

I’m exhausted, and looking forward to my cozy sleeping bag!

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