Day 27: mile 404.2 – 420.8

Elevation gain: 2,825 ft

Elevation loss: 2,939 ft

Since we had that big breakfast and awesome lunch from all that trail magic yesterday, I was thinking I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night because my stomach was growling like usual…well I was wrong about that. But, it was a first last night, guys…I didn’t wear socks or gloves to bed and NO down jackets! The warm temps during the day definitely continued into the night which made getting up at 6:15 super easy and leaving camp by 7am even easier. We were on a mission to find cell service which we had heard from the Guthook app was only about 6 miles away. So we booked it there, only stopping briefly at the river to gather water and make breakfast.

Notice the bullet hole on the left 😳

We made it to the area with service by 10 and it was a great shady spot with a beautiful view! Besides uploading the blog, we got to talk to the kids which is always a bonus.

We had heard the next 7 miles was an overgrown mess which was also tick infested…fun. Last night, Iceman had said he found at least 20 ticks on him during that section! So the next challenge for the day was to not only check for ticks on our legs every 20 ft, but still be on the lookout for rattle snakes, while assuring not to trip on rocks hidden under the overgrown bushes in the middle of the trail. Kind of exhausting, mentally, I have to say! I did come up with a “sweeping of the bushes” technique that I may have to patent. We had found 3 ticks in a matter of minutes before I started this technique and only ONE tick for the next 6 miles! I used my poles to sweep/swipe from the ground up in front of me, pretty forcefully. Is it morbid to say that I loved the thought of those nasty little buggers flying through the air, having no idea what happened? Sorry to any tick lovers out there 😁

Then to make it interesting, the desert threw in some poodle dog bush as well. This is a plant that is like poison oak on steroids, we have heard. It only grows after a burn, lasts for 7-10 years and then is gone. OH…and the black flies were back intermittently as well!

So to re-cap…I had to make sure I didn’t swipe the poodle dog while swiping the bushes for ticks, while swatting the black flies from my face before they went into my mouth or nose. Simultaneously looking for rattle snakes, stopping to check our legs for ticks and watching for hidden rocks…it actually made the miles go by pretty quickly I found!

We found another great shady spot in between the few pine trees where we stopped for lunch. Then the clouds rolled in which made the afternoon walking much more comfortable which was lovely!

Our next water source was from a water spigot at a fire station where they had great benches to sit on in the shade. We didn’t see any fire fighters so not sure if anyone was even there!We ended up just relaxing there for about 45 mins since it was comfy plus we only had 2.3 miles to the tent site which we assumed would be exposed. We thought sitting in the blazing heat with no shade wouldn’t be quite as nice!

But since the 2.3 miles was all uphill, we ended up in this cool spot with nice shady trees, boulders to sit on, and really neat views. For dinner, we had cheesy mashed potatoes that we added this chicken sausage to which we had dehydrated at home…real “stick to your ribs” type of meal!

While we were eating I looked down at my feet and realized this is the dirtiest my feet have been! The trail was super dusty today so I’m clearly going to need to re-wet my 1/2 wipe in order to clean them before bed!

As I’m writing this, there is the most amazing sunset!! Oh my gosh, the colors are the most vibrant we have seen…check it out!

Thanks for joining us on all of our experiences! Double Down