Mile 495 to 520. 25 miles.
Hit the trail at 7 and it was cold! There was frost on the ground near us. We hiked for about 2 miles and delayered when we got too hot. I suggested to Michael that we shoot for wild horse tank at 23 miles and see how we feel, if good then we can go 2 more miles to Pine Spring.
We made good time to sheepherders tank with 12 miles by 12. For Michael, who has never backpacked more than 11 miles in an entire trip before this, 12 before 12 is killing it! This stock tank is huge. It’s like a freaking lake. The water quality was pretty bad though, the sawyer squeeze had some trouble with it but a few shakes got the mud out and it still works okay.
We keep cruising on the dead flat and beautiful area all afternoon. We see a group of pronghorn antelope high tailing it from us. Then a few hours later a couple elk run right in front of us! We saw several elk throughout the evening.
Michael has been slamming his toes into rocks all day and it’s really doing damage to his feet. Looks like he’s going to lose many of his toenails. I even crush my big toe into a rock at one point and it sends me to the ground. Trail may be flat, but it’s often on very rocky ATV roads. There is also warning on michaels protein bars that it can make you sick because of the sweeteners used in the bar.
We do finally make it the extra 2 miles to pine spring and find it has a beautiful campsite near an open meadow. Four elk run away as we walk up to the camp. The “spring” looks similar to the other stock tanks but instead of being muddy, it’s full of algae and little critters. Better then all the stock tanks we’ve seen today! Up on the rim all the water is stock tanks. At least so far.
I eat a ton of food and set up camp. Michael drinks 2 or 3 times as much water as me so he take awhile to filter all the water for tomorrow. We hang out and watch the sky get dark. As I write this. Michael does surgery on his blisters and other foot wounds. Morman Lake tomorrow! And over 500 miles today! How about that!