Day 29: The Badlands

Miles Hiked: 28.8

Total Milage: 482.4

This morning Rockslide and I woke up around 5:20 am. We were very slow about getting ready but we made hot coffee and hit the trail around 6:45am. I wanted to do a long day so my goal was to hike the first 9 miles to the water source as fast as I could without any breaks. We walked a dirt road all the way to Los Indios springs where we started to descend down a trail into a very pretty canyon. I wasn’t even mad about the extra climbing or miles to get there just because it was so nice.

While we were taking a break at the spring, Jenga and 12 Pack caught up to us. After the spring we hiked on an actual trail for the rest of the day. For lunch we made a quick stop at a view on the edge of the Mesa we were walking on. Looking into the distance, we did not see any signs of civilization at all. It seems like most of the time when I’m at a view where I can see for miles and miles there is at least a town in the distance. The CDT has felt more remote than anywhere else I’ve been and I absolutely love it. After lunch we continued hiking on the flat mesa before we descended 1500 feet to the desert floor. The views were SO good. I saw another one of the Collared lizards we first saw on the way out of Grants and the cactuses were blooming! I met up with Free Fall and Rockslide at the water source where we took an hour long break hoping our friends would catch up.

After we waited a good amount of time, we decided to hike out the last 8 miles together. Today was my longest day of hiking yet! After we left the water source the terrain started to get very interesting. The ground was sandy and we were climbing in and out of washes and around rock formations. It reminded me of what I think Badlands National Park would look like. Free Fall said it reminded him of Monument Valley, Utah.

The last 8 miles were killing me. My legs were really sore from hiking over significant elevation for the first time on the whole trail and hiking a really long day. When we arrived at the water source we planned on camping near, there was a dead cow next to the tank. Although it was really sad, the water was really clear and far enough away from the cow that I was totally fine with drinking it. Honestly, we had no other choice. When we went to look for a camping spot it was pretty difficult to find a place that was both flat and out of the wind. Originally Rockslide and I were going to cowboy camp but some Ominous clouds made us set up the tent. We were both super exhausted and grumpy. I was so glad to finally lay down and fall asleep.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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