Total trip miles: 2643.3
What a day. We get back to Blackfoot River Road and start highwat walking. Heading back to the official trail at Macdonald Pass we opt for forest service roads to a purple route to avoid the highway as much as possible. We follow railroad tracks for a bit then cross country through marshy fields finally getting to the purple route 4 hours after we started.
There are cows and creeks everywhere so when we finally start climbing up to the divide we don't grab extra water because we're heading towards a spring and we have no reason not to think the spring might be dry, mistake.
Heading towards Dana Spring it's green mountains for days. We get to the spring although the map and GPS waypoints don't match. It's not a good scene, the cow trough is bone dry but the well is fenced off and I cross my fingers. Luck was not on our side. There was maybe 2 inches of water at the bottom of the metal cylinder, but there were also 3 bloated rodent corpses. Shit. The GPS had the next reliable water 42 miles away, the maps said 11-15. I had less than a quarter liter and Rest Stop had none. At least it wasn't hot out? Panicking wasn't helping and it would be dark in less than an hour and half so we just headed straight up the climb, more miles meant hopefully closer to water.
The views were great and anger and panic had me moving at a solid clip. It's getting colder and the wind is whipping, tucked into trees I'm happy my dinner was an instant Indian meal already hydrated and I'm just trying to not think about water. It's now 7.5 miles to the first probable water. I can do that...
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone