Connections – The Shakedown Hike, Day 3: 15.7 miles (35.7 total)

The birds chirp all night. 

On my last few outings this spring, the moon has been out and the birds don’t know to stop singing. Surely they know, but just don’t care? Do birds pull all nighters on a full moon?

I walked up the grade I saw the horseback rider on yesterday and found a better road to the spot. There was no way a big cattle truck would have taken the road I walked in on, but then again, you find astonishing things via these rough 4wd roads.

My next water source was a pleasant cruise down a grade filled with soft green hills. Patches of cloud cover rolled over the scene and the idealic setting took me to a beautiful tire-filled spring. These are the water sources we dream of. Little did I know this would be the best water of the day. I only took a liter and couldn’t resist holding it up to the light. Clean and clear.

I walked next to and through a creek the rest of the day. It was nice. 

Is it the cottonwood trees that are so fragrant? Their perfume sweetens the air.

I lunched at a spot called Hanging Rock Spring.  I failed to see the hanging rock, but then I wasn’t about to go rooting in the brush for a view. It must have been a modest hanging rock. 

Speaking of rock, the near-by drainage was named “Hoodoo Canyon” and the terrain did become very south-westish. Definitely Utah or New Mexico vibes. 

Again, I should have filled up my water when the road crossed the creek and I walked about 30 feet through it. I had already tried walking around, but once I was on the sandy talus above the drainage, the view showed me that I’d be trading a clean walk through the water for a marshy mud-foot crossing. No thanks. That’s a good way to lose a shoe.

Then I evaluated. My end of day water source wasn’t far off, as the crow flies, so decided on a cross country option up and over a few rises…such a cool way to hike! You can go anywhere out here…it’s wide open. Partial fire scars cleared the sagebrush and left cheatgrass in its wake….terrible for the ecosystem, but ok for walking.

The spring is hammered. Cows protest my approach to check it out and I find nothing but a cow paradise…there are flowers and green all around. It must be a lovely place to wallow if you are a cow.

Ok, next one looks to be a mile or so of cross country hiking. This is the part where the hills start looking like mesas and the soil turns an ashy white. Definitely a different look for this hike so far. Oh, and cactus! Blooming catus 🙂

This next spring is the worst by far.

No way. Not drinking that.

Now it’s 3 miles cross country, up and over a long climb. It’s early, walking only 10 miles is a big challenge for me when my pace is 3 miles an hour. I slow way down on a cross country sections, and in general am hiking slower on this trip, but I was cruising on this morning’s road walk.

I decided it had to be done. I could camp with what I had, but only if I eat a cold dinner and skip coffee in the morning. No thanks! Onward. One step at a time.

Ooo, there it is, my first blister of the trip. Day 3, not bad! And only when I pushed it over 10 miles. Good job body! By the way, my problem planter fasciitis foot was feeling good too. 

On the other side of the saddle that sat between the water sources I came to a spring cut deep into a narrow ravine filled with grasses and flowers. I found a way down on a cow trail (#^@%^$), but the cows haven’t mucked this one up too bad, so was able to get some cleanish water.


Camp, eat, hide from the sun, read, close my eyes while the birds chirp me to sleep.

One thought on “Connections – The Shakedown Hike, Day 3: 15.7 miles (35.7 total)

  1. I wouldn’t drink from that last muddy puddle either. I do have water filters and UV lights to kill anything, but I’d rather not drink that muddy puddle, unless I was in a survival situation.


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