We are low on water so start early to avoid the heat. It is another great morning and we are walking through lots of desert flowers. As we climb the hill the views just get better and better.
The miles are passing easily and we are soon at the water cache provided by a local trail angle family. We are very very happy to see all water sitting under the tree. Yeti is extra happy because it is a 4H community project and as an ex 4H mum she has an affinity for these things.
We sit under the tree and have lunch and drink lots of water. Soon another two hikers turn up, Squirrel and Early bird. We pass the usual greetings and enjoy lunch together. They are hiking a lot faster than us and so as we say goodbye we don’t expect to see them again.
Just as we have our backpacks on Hob comes up the hill. He spent the previous day hiking with Squirrel and Early bird and was trying to catch them up again. He quickly grabbed some water and we all headed off. Hob is hoping Squirrel and Early bird stop at the well that is in about 1.5 miles. When we get to the well they are not there but Hob decides to stop and have lunch and we hike on.
The day is hot and the miles are dragging so we put on Mathew Flinders Cat and are soon eating the miles up.
We are climbing another Mesa and sweating profusely. As we walk across the top of the Mesa we are making good time until we go through a trail gate, start to walk down the hill and all of a sudden Yeti is putting it into reverse, bolting back the way we had come. In her rush she knocks me into a cactus and I am left wondering what is happening until I hear the rattle of the snake and see it coiled ready to strike at the spot Yeti was standing half a second earlier. We are both standing there with the adrenaline rushing through our body looking at one very angry snake. It is my first encounter with an angry rattlesnake and in the confusion I forgot to take a photo. You will have to trust me that its body was about as big as my arm. There may be a chance we will get a photo one day because it was still sitting there and scared Hob when he came through.
Since our encounter with the snake Yeti has been constantly scanning the trail so that we can try and avoid being surprised by another one of these ferocious monsters.
We call an end to the day when the pain in Yeti’s leg gets too much. The spot we choose is on soft powder dirt. There is no grass to be seen and by now we have figured out how to minimise the dust getting into our tent. Most of it consists of making sure all your foot falls are downwind from the tent but also making sure they is no mixing of stuff inside the tent and the dust outside. So far we have not had bad weather so they main purpose of the tent is to set a clear definition between the dust outside and our nice clean sleeping environment within.
In an early post I spoke about the dried food we made for this trip and so far with the exception of one meal they have all been excellent. Tonight it is burritos and they are delicious.
One of my favourite times of the day is when Yeti and I go to bed and on the trail it is no different. Tonight we lay on our mats and talk about our day. I run my hands over Yeti’s skin and feel for any muscle knots. The closeness that this brings between us is incredible. Even though we spend every minute of every day together we still love our time at night to connect.