When we looked at doing the first leg we decided that early on in the hike we wanted to keep the number of days of food we need to carry to a minimum.
The almost nonexistent town of Hatchita is 45 miles from the start of the trail. It consists of a closed bar, a few trailer homes, a few normal homes, a Community Center and little else. It does however have a post office.
So we figured we would do a mail drop at Hatchita but did not want to hitch into town and back out. Yeti (Australian are very lazy talkers, why use 3 syllables when 2 will do. Or better yet 1 but she did not lik being called U, Yets or Ga) being the great talker that she is rang the post master and asked if there was anyone who would run our box out to the trail head for a small fee. The post master suggested her husband and with a quick phone call to him with lots of laughing in her usual style Yeti had it organised.
At 6:30 on the dot, Jeremy turned up with our box and several gallons of cold clean water. We chatted with him for 30 minutes on the side of the highway and got to find out a little bit about the goings on around the local area.
After our resupply we had a morning of relative flat walking and the miles soon passed by. Even though our start was late we still got 12 miles knocked over by 1pm. We were walking across the red sandy soil and the heat from the sun just reflects back into you. When we passed the first tree for miles we decided it was too good to pass up. Out came the mats and it was siesta time in the cool shade.
After I had a sleep Yeti asks me if I wanted one of our home made dehidrated meals. Never one to knock back food, we pulled out the stove and cooked potatoes, leeks, garlic, ham and cheese. It was delicious and well worth the effort of make the meals before we left.
By this time the sun had moved so we scooted around the tree and went to asleep again.
At 5 we started hiking and met Half mile and Deb at the next water cache. They must have walked passed us and they said they had not noticed us even though we were right next to the trail.
We chatted for a while, filled up our water and as we were about to leave when a trail angle drove in with cold drinks. We stayed a bit longer to enjoy the small luxury of a cold drink before setting off for a few more miles before camping.
The wind was howling across the wide open plane and as the sun was getting close to setting we could not decided if it was better to try and hike further or stop and make the best of a bad spot. We decided to make the best of a bad spot.
The second night setting up our new Zpacks tent and it was not easy. The wind was so strong the pegs would pull straight out of the ground before I could get a rock on top of them. I put about 4 on top of the poll rope peg and went to stake out the others only to see a rock fly over my shoulder as the wind gusted and pulled the peg and all the rocks out. Eventually we got the tent up by throwing all our gear inside to hold it down and the running around with armfuls of rocks to place on the pegs. I could tell Yeti was thinking hard from the other side of the tent “Why did we replace our big Agnes free standing tent with this?” But she was nice enough not to say it aloud.