Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, Thursday

It probably dropped to about 45 degrees last night, but my 15 degree bag, Ibex wool shirt, t shirt, shorts and pants kept me sweating, though sleeping.

We had first breakfast in camp, then ran off, first downhill (brrrr, too scantily clad), then uphill, then downhill, then hungry enough for a second breakfast 3 miles later. The Grasshopper Inn was a really nice place seemingly in the middle of nowhere. THEN we found out we could have camped out front and had margaritas and widow. If we had rented a room we could even have taken SHOWERS. All for 3 measly miles. Alas.

After breakfast we passed through a section of route shared with the Trans Am; it was pretty non-descript and neither Jamie nor I remembered it. A solo female headed west passed us and we should have stopped to chat, since soloists are sometimes a little lonely, but we forged ahead.

There was a lot of downhill early in the day, but it turned into a rolling flat, then a slight incline as the day wore on. Water is an issue in this section, since most of the creeks have dried up by this time of the year. You know the few which are running are contaminated by the hundreds of cattle ranging across their watersheds, but you dip and purify and cross your fingers.

Bannock State Park was closed due to flash flooding, but that was a little early for us to be stopping anyways.

We finally came to a rest where the road crossed Medicine Lodge Creek and took turns bathing in the very small shallow creek. A tiny rain storm came through while we pitched our tents. Though there was thunder and an incredible wind, hardly 20 drops of rain struck my tent. Jamie rescued my tent, which was hell bent on impaling itself on a barbed wire fence, taking my sleeping bag, pad and clothes with it.
Our fourth rehydrated meal (2 successful attempts) was quite good and we are discovering some ground rules. 1. Pasta can't stand around being rehydrated for long and may not work at all 2. Rice side dishes rehydrate in about 20 minutes.  The ones we have been using are made by Knorr. We will try some pasta between now and Big Spring, ID and make a final determination on getting rid of the stove by then.

Since there is no toilet, we used a rock slide for this purpose. We would lift a rock, make a deposit to nature, replace the rock and build a little cairn to mark the spot.

Our bear hangs were pretty weenie, since there were not really any trees. The guys just put their stuff on top of the river sign posts about 5 feet above the ground, while Jamie and I tried the bridge trick again, but the creek is only about 4 feet below the bridge. Since there is a lot of vegetation at either end of the bridge, we know the food will be safe because a.) Bears don't like splashing in the water, right? And b.) Bears don't like moving through itchy scratchy vegetation, right? and c.) the bikers are tastier and come in cute wrappers filled with down feathers.

Today we saw a moose and calf, fox, bluebird and some rust colored heron-type birds.

Start odometer 1068
End 1126
Total 60 (I took my odometer off to get it calibrated right)
Max 41.5
Avg 11.5
Time 4:58

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