Woooopeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!! We hit 500 miles today! What a night and day difference from day 1. There is nothing out here. Just dry cracked alkaline white dirt, a few sage brush, some lizards, and bugs. No birds, no wind, no wildlife. But quiet- that’s nice.
We successfully got up at 3 a.m. today (finally!) Honestly, I am trying to become a morning person. For those of you who know me well, you know that mornings are not my friend. Well, I am considering myself a recovering night owl. It would behoove me and my traveling companions anyhow to become a morning person- it will help us from boiling our brains out in the desert in the heat of the day with no shade. At least we can be finished early enough to find a place to stop, make some sort of shade, and try not to exert much energy for the 3 or 4 miserable hours of unbearable heat in the middle of the afternoon.
We came across a pretty cool sight today- Hooten Well. It’s an old Pony Express stop out in the middle of nowhere. The old wooden corrals are still standing, the stone foundations of the two buildings remain, and a few rusty watering troughs are there. Unfortunately, the old well is padlocked and now requires a generator to run. Thank goodness for our guys- Ted and Trevor- who are our water angels. They dropped a bucket of water there for us to give the horses mid day, then they left the other 9 five gallon buckets at our planned stop (which they scouted out for us) at another old corral miles down the trail – also out in the middle of nowhere. The good thing about old corrals is that they can be jerry rigged to somewhat contain horses during the waking hours, then the posts can be used to tie them to at night- and sleep with little worry of mustangs since the horses have the fence as a buffer! Except that sleep is tough to come by when the tent is hotter than a sauna. We ate our dinner in the cow water trough (long dried up) because it was a wind block, so we got a good giggle out of that! Then dear Fiddle kept us up again by pawing at the metal gate. We got up in the middle of the night and cut some barb wire to make another safe spot to tie the horses and moved them away from the gate.
Have you ever been so far out in the middle of no where that you can’t hear anything but quiet? No cars, no water running of course, no nothin. Ya know what’s cool about that (besides the quiet?) You can walk around camp naked! It’s pretty fun and liberating. You should try it sometime. Just be sure not to do it for too long- you get bug bitten and burnt in places you don’t want to- trust me.