7/12/15 Day 79, Meadow M2110.1 to Bowl M2138.2 11,744′
Tent – Nights Spent Alone: 10
28.1, 1480.7 Trip Miles
Partly Cloudy, rain in the evening w/ hail and lightening
Day’s of Snow: 8 – Day’s of Rain: 30 – Days of Hail: 14
# of Zero days: 7
5:50 am – 6:25 pm
Gila Crossings Final Total: 221
Tick Count: 4 (4 more crawling on me)
1 Moose (BIG Bull)
1) 530 Pronghorn*
2) 324 Elk
3) 154 Chipmunks
4) 119 Lizards
5) 116 Wild Horses
6) 105 Marmot****
7) 91 Deer**
8) 50 Squirrels
9) 46 Ground Squirrels
10) 42 Pika
11) 41 Cotton Tail Rabbits
12) 30 Prairie Dogs
13) 22 Horny Toads
14) 17 Jack Rabbit***
15) 12 Moose
16) 8 Snakes
17) 5 Coyotes
18) 5 Moles
19) 3 Porcupine
20) 2 Fox
21) 2 Rattle Snakes
22) 2 Toads
23) 1 Mouse
24) 1 Skunk
25) 1 Weasel
*181 from car, **3 from car, ***1 from car, ****2 from car
Wow! Today was big. We covered a lot of ground and saw a ton. It wasn’t the grandeur of yesterday but beautiful in its own way. The diversity of terrain and critters was what made today special.
I woke up at some God awful time in the am and all my clothes and sleeping bag were wet from sweat. I must have had my one hot flash of the trail. I’ve have at least one on both the AT and PCT. I forced myself to sleep as there was nothing I could do about it.
When we woke up everything was wet. Not from my hot flash but dew and the multiple rain storms during the night. We packed up wet tents and hit the first climb. It was over two miles long but not bad. It offered us a meadow neither of us expected. At the top we ran into to older hikers who said there was some elk in the next Meadow. We didn’t find any elk but while I took a shit I saw a brown spot that looked like a moose. When done I told Rafiki to take a look with his binoculars. Sure enough it was a large bull moose.
We climbed many passes and side-hilled lots of peaks. Views were to be found in most any direction.
On one climb I was leading and as I came to a small stream I stopped dead in my tracks and backed up. I had almost ran into a porcupine! He was much smaller than the first two but just a cute. We did stick around and quickly made his way into the bushes.
Coming into one meadow with a few ponds we spots about seven elk. As we moved closer the number grew to 37! It’s amazing how you think you can see them all then you turn or get a different angle and BAM there’s four time the number you thought were there.
Around 4:00pm we hit the most exposed area of the day. With thunder rolling and black clouds close by we hung out about twenty minutes. Finally I convinced Rafiki to make a mad dash to the other side of the ridge. It was two miles so it was a quick thing. We made it fine but Thor let us know he was angry.
Around mile 25 a new storm was cooking and it looked to be headed in our direction. We turned on the afterburners and hightailed it to our current camp. The rain started just as we got there. The result for me is a shitty tent pitch and slightly wet rain jacket. Currently I’m waiting to see if the rain stops so I can cook. I don’t want to cook under my fly.
The lightening was pretty intense when we got here. The thunder of today’s storms was so loud. It echoed through the valleys.
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