5/19/15, Day 25
M655.2 to M684 6,527′
14 Cotton Tail Rabbits
9 Horny Roads
9 Jack Rabbit
2 Ground Squirrels
1 Rattle Snake
Last night was single handily the worst night ever in a tent. I was scared for my life. The storm rage on till around 2 am.
Every flash of lightening that was close made me cringe in fear and close my eyes. There were so many strikes within a second of me. At one point five minutes went by and the lightening was constant. Not big flashes but tons of little ones.
One of the freakiest parts of the night not counting the tent falling on me, think Blair Witch with the hands, was I kept seeing lights. We’re talking tiny flickers, almost like sparks. I couldn’t tell if it was just my eyes or static in the air.
Hell at one point I thought it was aliens!
I survived as you can see. I didn’t get much sleep and today was tough. I started a bit dehydrated and only made it worse by not drinking much today.
There was tons of water up at 10k feet but I didn’t want any then. As we got lower there was water but it was very tan from the plants. Then when I had to get water it was brown and silty. That water made me gassy. The next water looked like chocolate milk. I pushed on 4 miles to a cattle trough. I hiked today’s miles on something like 3 liters. Surprisingly I don’t have a headache. I had a lot to drink at dinner.
It blows me away how I went from 10k and snow everywhere to 6k and it’s now desert. To think I can go that far on my own power and see that much. I went through Aspen groves, stands of Ponderosas and thick forests of spruce. As I descended I saw oaks, sage and cedars. So much change in the miles.
Very lucky to be alive this day. What I didn’t mention here is that not only did I start in snow at 10k feet but the tread was either snow with water underneath or slush with water underneath. I walked football fields in length across fields that were over run with tiny creeks that became streams. The fields were shin deep or more with numbingly cold water. It was a miserable start to the day after a very tough night.
The next hurdle was the descent and route finding. With all the snow it was hard to follow the trail and once out of the snow there was a ton of blow downs on the descent. After that it was the nasty water followed by the heat. This day has it all.
At camp I reflexed on the day and reveled at the hardship and silently congratulated myself for pushing through while watching yet another amazing sunset.