Today (Sun)is a cloudy overcast day. The rain came during the night hours, soft, steady, and soaking. It continues to rain intermittently now. The earth in these parts is thirsty and so the rain is welcome.
D. and I went to the Lodge for a combination birthday party---fund raiser for T.N.. There was a good turn out. We met and sat with some folks we hadn't met before and had some fun conversation. T. wanted to know why our M. hadn't called to wish him a happy b'day :-)
D. went home and cleaned out the frig. this morn, while I stayed here at camp and cooked breakfast.
I've read and commented on numerous blogs (it's "Sunday Scribbling" day) so now its time to get on with my hiking saga.
JULY 23 rd 2006 5th day in the field.
After lunch we hike up to Ute Gultch Commissary, where we are to pick up 3 days provisions. The temperature this PM is approaching 90 degrees. Even with the low humidity, the altitude, sun and heat makes for a slow climb. We adhere to my philosophy; stay out of the sun when you can and sit when you can. At Ute gulch we take a fresh apple or orange break while resting in a copse of scrub oak, and divying up the food packets.
The final destination for today is to be Visto Grande Camp, with a stop at Deer Lake Mesa for water. We estimate it to be a 3mile hike with a 300 ft climb in elevation. The scenery is spectacular.
When we get to Deer Lake Mesa, we fill our water containers and treat them with puification tablets. (not the old iodine tabs of past times). Some of the crew were in need of a blister clinic which was accomadated. We were sitting on an unimproved road at this time. When everyone was ready to move on, it was decided to follow the road. The lead scout for this day thought, after consulting his map, that this route would get us to Visto Grande quicker. Wrong! We knew better, in that we knew empirically that we should be on a trail not a road. Long story short: we hiked up and down-up and down for 3 miles befroe encountering a sign for Harlan which set off alarms in our head!!!! wrong way!!!!! So, turn around and trek back 3 miles. Now: it's dusk, everyone is totally exhausted, and we are now back at Deer Lake Mesa. The correct trail is located and it's suggested with contiue on. My comment: NO. I'm done for today.--- Ok.--- Everyone agrees that that is probably the best plan.
Solar powered water supply station at Deer Lake Mesa.
Deer Lake Mesa Camp.
We came across two rangers and had them radio base camp for permission to change our plan, so as to stay here at Deer Lake Mesa. Once we had the a-ok. we set camp. Cooked and ate supper and retired early with the knowledge that we'd be up and off at first light 'cause we are once again a half day behind and we will have a long day tomorrow to make it up.
Tomorrow: Visto Grande-- Cimarron River Camp----Santa Claus Camp--and finally to Upper Dean Cow Camp. (Don't ya just love these names :-)) We have more instore for us than we can imagine.