Day 32: 497 to 519

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We hit 500 miles today, and honestly, we did not even noticed. Miles seem trifling when our goal is tremendous. 

 

Before we write about our day, let us first mention the morning. This morning we seemed to be in no rush. We called our moms to wish them a Happy Mother's Day and thank them for all that they have done for us, do for us, and for all of the unconditional support. While we ate our breakfast and made our phone calls, we enjoyed the view one last time. 

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Following the cliff line, the trail took us through Aspen fields of an old burn. The charred branches wove together forming intricate webs and against the sky, the patterns appeared permanently pressed into the deep blue.

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We began our descent down. Some parts were very steep, switching down hill. Other parts rolled over hills descending even lower on the opposite side. A pyramid shaped peaked stood before us and below it was a spring. We arrived at the spring, filled up, and had a small snack. A curious lizard, having just chowed down on a grub worm, ran right up to Critter filtering water. She offered her cap of water, but unsure about the offer, she ran over to Garbelly before running under a broken slab of stone.

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Once we had enough water to get us to our next source, or as much as we felt like carrying, we continued on our way. The water had a sulphuric after taste, so we added the last bits of our electrolyte drink mix to the bottles to mask the taste. 

 

Garbelly had a run in with some of the trail builders. Unfortunately, they have not been too friendly to us yet and rather skittish. Some went back to eating while we walked past, others stood there in what could only be dissatisfaction for causing them to move off of the trail. 

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We climbed down into a river canyon, but the river had been reduced to mud and silt. We climbed back out to follow a fence line towards towering cliffs and boulders.

Eastern Collared Lizard

Eastern Collared Lizard

This stretch of trail was fascinating and changed so many times throughout the day. First we were following a trail through a flat land surrounded by canyons, distant and close by. Then we were climbing up and down over rolling hills, before climbing up a fold in a cliff. There were so many layers to our surroundings, and there was no one in sight.

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We ate lunch under a Juniper Tree sitting close to the trunk for shade. Looking down at where we had come from made us interested and curious in the miles to come, and the trail just got even better. 

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Walking on top of large sandstone boulders, we looked down at the shrinking trees and prairie as we climbed. The trail led us along intricate walls of rock and up and over as we climbed even higher into a world unknown to the dirt road below. 

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We followed the trail into a valley where we walked along a barbed wire fence before beginning to climb again. Mesa after mesa, we walked relatively flat trail with short steep climbs and even steeper descents. The orange of the rock anchored into the vast sky through the green of the sage brush and Juniper trees that decorated the plateau. 

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Taken back by how beautifully simple the land was and the delicate detail that lay in the crevices and encompassed by the water worn grooves. 

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Our day neared it's end as we began to descend down to a road. As we crossed the first dirt road when we came across a large black bull grazing in the middle of the trail. As soon as we saw him, he saw us and instead of moving out of the way, he took two steps squaring up with us. Picking his back hoof up and stomping it down, he stood there holding his ground as drool streamed from his mouth and nostrils. The angry bull always wins so we left the trail scrambling up a rock boulder to join the trail behind our new friend. Having lost interest in us, the bull began grazing again. We continued down the trail, frequently looking back over our shoulders just to make sure we were not being followed or charged. 

We crossed over paved highway to rejoin the trail on the other side. Off the trail a ways up, we came across a water cache left by the Trujillo family. We definitely needed water as our bottles were now bone dry. Thank you so much Trujillo family for helping out hikers! 

We felt good enough to get in another mile, to get away from the road, so we hiked another mile before looking for camp. That night we climbed on top of a hill, looking down at the trail. We had a perfect view of the sunset and another great camping spot.  

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Cheers to pushing yourself one more mile, because the trail provides.  

Garbelly & Critter  

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