Day 2: The Smell of Rain and Playa Mud

Start: alluvial wash
Stop: Old Hachita Ghost Town
23ish miles

After a sleepless night we awake to endless rolling clouds. Thunderstorms a brewin’. On trail by 6:30am, we march towards the darkness. As the pitter pat of rain starts to fall I prep my backpack and myself for the inevitable. I figure this will be short and painless. But pitter pats turn into fat monsters and the wind becomes gale force. With umbrella up, I walk directly into the wind. My poles are tucked under my left arm and I use both hands to support my umbrella against the mighty wind, thinking that at any moment it’s just going to tater and collapse.

And it’s cold. As in hands-numbing frigid. Watch the video here

“I didn’t sign up for this on day 2”, I say to myself. But all I can do is march onward. As my feet reach the point of total saturation, the ground starts to brighten in front of me. I peak around my umbrella and see blue sky in the distance. Hallelujah! Because I was starting to have visions of setting up my tent to get out of the rain and cold.

Beads and I arrive at the second water cache box and start to dry out. As in wring out the socks kind of drying out. Snacks, foot care, drying out and loading up on water takes two hours. Man, where does the time go? We head off for more cross-country prickle dodging as dark clouds bubble. Pea-sized hail starts to fall and I have to dig back into my pack for my rain jacket.

Under billowy clouds the miles roll by until my stomach gurgles. I could have titled this journal Shit Fiesta but I wanted to spare you all. I shit and I shit, stopping at least 5 different times. And when I thought there could be no more shit, I stop one more time. Beads and I decide it’s a combo of cheese, coffee and desert love.

Totally exhausted from all my shitting, I drag myself the last 1/4 mile to the Old Hachita Ghost Town. We find four walls and escape from the wind.


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