20th April 21 miles (33.8km)
Bushcamp (33.3) to Bushcamp (54.3)
7am and we are on trail hiking. We were all a bit quicker with our camp duties in the morning. I like a hot cup of coffee and warm oats to start my hiking day. That’s rather rare for a thru hiker. Most eat a granola bar as they start hiking. The caffeine addicts usually add instant coffee and cold water to an old Gatorade bottle or similar. Each to their own.
It was an easy 5 miles or so to our first water source. An electric bore pump. I turned it on and waited. It took about 30 seconds for fresh clean water to start flowing. The reservoir created from the water pump was full of water. There were lots of brown lumpy evidence of cattle frequenting the area. And the odd bird.
Two of the Warrier hikers arrived as we were ready to leave so we stayed a whole to chat. Anvil and lucky. Anvil got his name from his heavy pack. Honestly, it was twice my weight. Lucky, well, he’s just lucky.
After several miles of featureless terrain I deeply regretted not making a small detour to the nearby ghost town of Old Hatchita. I like ghost towns. Instead I settled for a distant view from maybe a mile away of some old Adobe structures slowly giving way to nature.
It was just after midday. We had hiked maybe 12 miles. I stopped at the water cache as Radar was filling up the water bottles. Thanks Radar. I crossed the nearby highway. A car stopped. “Do you want some trail magic”.
Chuck was on a journey to this part of the world to see the CDT and hopefully some of the hikers. He graciously gave us some Dr Pepper (my favourite).
I walked the long distance of 25 meters across the road to the Warrier hikers support vehicle for some shade and yet another soft drink. I stayed several hours chatting and waiting out the heat of the day. Seems like ex-military and ex-Police have a lot in common. I got on well with them. For those who don’t know me, I’m an ex-Police officer.
Crunchmaster, Spontaneous and I discussed the afternoon. I was feeling fine and strong, unlike yesterday afternoon. But we were not all as comfortable with the heat as myself. We hoped to make it to a water tank in another 5 miles then camp several miles past it.
I received a brief cell phone signal while standing in one leg with a trekking pole in the air. Damn you AT&T. Just kidding, of course. I suspect I will not have a great signal while hiking on this trip, but I will try to keep the posts rolling along.
The last several miles of the day found us walking near old heavily eroded mesas. Ochre rocks amoung the course limestone.
The wind picked up just as the flat smooth ground disappeared. With only an hour of sunlight left we found some flat ground. The three of us demolished our dinner.
Despite being relatively easy terrain our bodies are slowly but surely adapting. No blisters yet, which is very unusual for me. I’m a bit scratched up and rather fatigued but so far holding up fine. My hiking buddies are not quite feeling the same.