The beast and I wake about the same time. I hear him packing up while I lay under my quilt waiting for the sun to climb its way down the trees. Every morning is the same, I wake before the sun comes up and then I try to wait for it to get to us before I climb out of the warmth of our quilt.
As soon as I see the sun halfway done the bush next to where I am sleeping I jump out of bed, hang the quilt in the sun. I pack up the rest of my gear and 30 minutes later I am off down the trail wanting to get to the next well to have breakfast.
The beast is not far behind me and he catches up when I stop to peel my first layer off. We bounce along the trail passing one dry truck tire converted into a cattle trough and one full tire but as the well is not far ahead we both skip these.
When I arrive at the well the first job is to fill my dirty bag and start the gravity feed filter dance. This consists of hanging the bag full of dirty water from something then connecting a hose with a filter at the bottom. The filter is then screwed onto our drink bottles and left. It is a slow process but if you have other things to do it is the easiest way and who said guys can’t multitask!
With the remaining clean water I have I pour some granola into the cooking pot and start to eat one of my favourite foods. We prepared the granola at home by adding milk powder, raisins and dried blue berries, Delicious with a capital D.
Since Yeti was supposed to be with me it is a double serve, I take one for the team and consume the lot.
Since I have cell reception I plug my phone into my solar panel and call Yeti to see how things are going. She has decided to go to the doctors so we can have a better idea of how long her recovery will be. We chat for about an hour and the I pack up and continue walking.
I have no real plan for distance and have plenty of time so I just go at an easy pace and often stop to take pictures. Turns out to be a record picture taking day for me, 91 photos. The scenery is breathtaking so I can’t help myself.
The end of the day is spent hiking across a wide basin covered in golden grass that seems to go on for ever in the hot afternoon sun. I have been listening to the audio book “The Water Knife” all afternoon and that makes the miles pass quickly.
I get close to the highway that is the last 13 miles of the route to Pie Town and decided to stop in the shade of a small bush, the only decent shade I have seen for 10 miles. Lucky Yeti is not with me as we would not both fit in the shade the bush casts.
This becomes my home for the night and as I set up to cowboy camp in the small dust depression next to the bush I am treated to an incredible sunset with the landscapes colours changing by the minute.