Today was the big day. 19 miles between water sources so I’d have to carry enough water to last a long walk through meadows in the hot sun. And Cassie would have to carry enough for herself too.

I drank the Coke and ate a Clif Bar while packing up camp and set off. 5 miles in 2 hours. Not bad. I stopped and made a trail shake and fed Cassie. Set off again. 4.5 miles in 2 hours. Still not bad but I was getting tired so I slapped the headphones in and cranked up the tunes and sang along as I followed a dry creek bed along a long valley. As I turned and started heading up out of the valley I saw Bill and Keith coming toward me. Uh oh. What’s wrong? They’d gotten turned around and were lost. They’d missed the second turn and ended up hiking up a mountain unnecessarily adding another mile or so to their already long day. We hiked together the rest of the day.

Coming down into the first real water we’d seen in 2 days created quite a site. Three hot, smelly people waded into the fast flowing stream and got a hiker bath – a wash and wear bath. As Bill and Keith were setting up camp Austin and Mike showed up. They’d been hiking 20+ days to catch up. I had been planning to continue on a few miles for privacy so I could get a real bath but decided to stay and enjoy the party. We chatted, joked, took pictures, and planned the next couple days of miles.