Another cold start. I am not sure why I put that in as I expect every morning for a while to come will be cold so every day will start with that line.
Today starts out with a long series of gravel road walks. Yeti is all for hitching a ride out or at least part way down the road. If we could knock about 8 miles off the distance to highway 12 and Reserve we would be able to make it into a hotel a day earlier.
It is windy and cold and road walking is never pleasant. We are both tied and it has been a long time since the comforts of being inside.
A truck passes us but as we are only 1/2 a mile from the intersection where we turn off this road, I say I am not sure if it is worth getting a ride. Of course the truck turns and proceeds down the road we need to go. Yeti looks at me slightly fuming that we missed the perfect ride. The next road sign we pass says Reserve 31 miles, Yeti asks should we just go down there and hitch into town. I say I am not sure as I don’t have maps that cover that area. At this Yeti gets even more frustrated and heads off down the road at an excelerated pace.
We hike on several hundred yards apart with the distance increasing as I stop to put on my warm layer. When I start hiking again Yeti is not to be seen. I hike on and find her sitting on the side of the road with a sore leg.
She takes some Ibprofen and we continue. A little while later she has to stop again as it is getting worse. Just as we are moving on we hear a truck coming, Yeti waves and at first we think they are not going to stop but the do. 100 yards down the road they wait and we hurry down to talk to them. They are out to do some turkey hunting and are looking for some where to camp at the moment. We ask if they will give us a lift down the road as far as they are going. They agree and we pile in the back.
After about three miles they stop and point to a hiker on the side of the road, it is Bumerang. Yeti jumps out and so I climb out. We thank the guys and then walk over to say hi to Bumerang. He walked 25 miles last night and is sore today so had stopped to doctor his feet.
We leave him to fix his feet and start walking along the road again. Yeti says she does not know why she got out of the truck because now we have another 5 miles of road walking.
No sooner than we get out of sight of Bumerang another truck comes. We flag this one down. It is a young woman that is doing work with the wolves they have reintroduce into the area. They capture the wolves and put radio collars on them. They use road kill as bait to attract the wolves and the back of her truck is full of plastic bags containing left over road kill. She offers us a lift and graciously offers to move the road kill to make room for us to sit in the back. 5 miles later we are at the turn off for the tail and she lets us out. We chat with her for 5 minutes and then part ways.
By this stage Yetis leg is getting very sore. We want and try to get to a point where we will have about 12 miles to hike tomorrow so we can make it to town but every step Yeti takes is now racked with pain. We make it to one of the stock tanks and take a couple of hours in the sun to see if that will help. It does somewhat but not long after we start again she is in pain again.
Bumerang pointed out the Ley alternative that goes down the canyon rather than over the top of the mountain. We decided this would be easier for Yeti and would give us a better camp spot for the night. Yeti soldiers on and we make it a few more miles to set up camp for the night.