Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day 97: Windy Wyoming

7/27: mile 1697.6-1729.7 (just past Mormon Spring)
Miles: 32.1
Total trip miles: 1537

My foot felt fine and waking up to wind and clouds I had high hopes for a cooler day. I couldn't find the first spring we passed, just dried mud but I hadn't been counting on it so it was okay. The trail passed some cow ponds and then even climbed a bit more before hanging out on a ridge line.

Goat and cow, because why not?

Then it was hours of windy walking. Lots of ridge or rolling hills today, not much flat basin and almost zero sand.

I passed a cow pond and came pretty close to grabbing water but cows on one end and a funky spinal column on the other had me rethinking. It's some desolate dry country out here. Alkali creek was dry too and the wind was getting worse. Climbing up coyote gulch was 2 steps forward and 1 blown sideways. I sat watching dark clouds straight where the trail led complete with lightning spiking the horizon, joy.

Getting dark

The storm hit when there wasn't even sagebrush to huddle next to. Crazy wind and stinging rain had me drenched within minutes. Luckily it was fast moving but it was a good reminder that I shouldn't have put my raincoat in my pack just yet.

A great spring, even if it took a minute to find

After staring at maps and fighting more relentless wind Rest Stop and I took a much needed wind break at Weasel Springs. Then onward back into the wind and waking until dark hoping for a break.

My takeaways from the wind today? One, you can happily sing as loudly as you want and no one has any idea how truly crazy you are. And two, when the wind knocks you off balance and you find your foot slammed into a jack rabbit hole, during that second when you think you might have broken something you can scream and curse and no one will hear you then either.

I got super excited because I'm a total history dork and found that we were sharing trail with the Oregon Trail.

Mormon spring once I actually found it, yes there was a cairn but I certainly missed it from the road

Mormon spring wasn't where the GPS thought it should be and my maps helpful comment was look near the light grey rocks. Yeah there are rocks everywhere. But after a bit I found it and after sinking my foot ankle deep in mud and a nice temper tantrum I had water. I had hoped to get farther but with the killer endless wind and the total lack of shelter on the visible trail Rest Stop and I just slept in the road semi sheltered by a burm hoping the wind would eventually die down.

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