Clowds Over The Dessert

Day 3. Monday, May 9, 2005

Start: Long Canyon Creek Ford

Stop: Pioneer Mail Picnic Area

Mikes Hiked: 15.2

After the first two days, it was just 5 miles to the store, where we were going to resupply. If I wanted, I could be picked up here by my wife or my bother, and go home. Boy, after two days of what seemed like constant cramping, I thought I was done. Yet, when we got to the store, I just couldn't decide what to do: go home, or keep hiking. On the trail, I had decided for SURE that I was going to quit. I think I might have liver problems. I told Ken that I was balling as we approached the store. He was amazingly neutral on the subject. I kept changing my mind. I even started handing Ken stuff out of my pack that he could use -- only to change my mind again. After talking to Carol, my wife, on the phone, she encouraged me to keep going, at least until Friday. Obviously, she has a ton of influence on me, so I am still on this trip.

Ken and I bought supplies for four more days, and loaded ourselves with lots of water, and took off. It was very nice hiking. The grade of the trail is wonderful, easy up and easy down. After leaving the store, I felt much better today. Still having cramps, but not as many.

Near the end of the day I was exhausted again. But not in the same way as the first two nights -- so maybe my body is adjusting.

As we finished our hike for the day, it was clear that a storm was on the way. On the trail, the wind was so strong to push me off my direction. I think at least 40 mph gusts.

We cooked dinner as it started to rain. (Now we are doing everything independent of each other. ) I worked hard on my tent, like securing all the strings and stakes with large rocks and branched. I dug trenches around it, to direct any water flows away from me.

As I said when I started this journal, one my strings is now broken. I have nothing left to repair it with, and I don't want to craw in the mud to get out of my tent to fix it anyway. So hopefully, my empty pack will anchor that side of the tent. My pack is getting soaked in the process. As the wind pushes my pack toward me, I can use my hands to push it back into place. I keep having to reposition the pack as I write this journal.

It is amazing how loud the wind is. We can hear a blast building. It howls really loud, and we brace for a hit. Sometimes the hit never really comes, and others, it seems like the wind is going to rip the entire tent from its roots and blow it all away. Its somewhat scary, and fun at the same time. I am mostly dry -- I get sprays of rain and mud that come in threw the mosquito netting under the bottom of the tarp. So far, it has just made everything damp and dirty.

Hopefully, this won't be the last entry in this log. Good night.