Day 6: (15.9 miles)
When we finished the evening before, we half ass erected our tent, we were so worn out. Never did we think hurricane like winds would make our already uncomfortable tent, even more uncomfortable. (Our tent is the equivalent of Paul wearing skinny jeans. It’s uncomfortable for both of us…we should have gotten the 3-man and not worried about the minimal “extra” weight).
We had staked down the corners of our Big Agnes TigerWall 2UL tent, but not deep. We didn’t face it structurally to withstand direct wind. Besides the clips on the fly to the tent body, and the stakes for the vestibule doors, we didn’t guy anything out. BIG Mistake!
No sooner did we close our eyes, but great wind gusts began to buffet our tent. Quickly we reached under the fly and fastened the velcro tabs to the tent poles, and pulled our gear more snuggly under the vestibules. We briefly considered getting out to pound in the stakes but then surely our tent would blow away if we were not in it. Therefore, we rode it out. It was like trying to sleep in the dryer section of an automatic car wash…but you’re NOT in your car.
We obviously were exhausted enough to eventually fall asleep, and awoke, thankfully, to no winds. Concerned the wind “switch” would be flipped again, we packed up as quickly as we could and were on our way.
The air was crisp enough to start out with our puffies on, but with clear skies, we knew the sun, and possibly wind, would become brutal…again.
Umbrellas up way before our breakfast stop. We were amazed at the “wealth” of available water there was in this section of The Great Basin.
Springs and rivelets filling clear pools of crisp cool water made for swaths of greenery in a bland pallet of scenery.
Gangs of wild horses flourish here in The Basin. They found our umbrellas curious and would come closer to us than we expected. It was a little disconcerting, but amazing as well.
If you don’t pay attention, you’ll pass this one even if your en route to it. If there is a sign that says “No Camping within this fence”…and a wooden chicane, investigate further.
If I didn’t have 20-15 vision I would have been hard pressed to see the short, squat, silver cistern nestled within a tan rock outcropping. Up to this point the day had been a long hot, monotonous haul. We were blessed with relatively flat tread, a few ups and a gentle breeze that allowed us to use our umbrellas.
With already “enough” water to make it to Weasel Springs we passed more than a few clear spring fed ponds and gently flowing “creeks” to camel up and eat our lunch here. We walked down the narrow green meadow and dropped our packs on the large rocks. Opened the lid of the cistern and found a thin sheen of bugs floating on the surface nearly a foot below the top edge. No worries, we have a Katadyn Hiker Pro pump. We’ll get the water below the bugs. Paul lowered the nozzle into the drink and began to pump with great difficulty. Shit, our pump is clogged… probably with cow shit from the cow pond water. Normal attempts via the directions to unclog it failed…too much shit (literally).
To clean the filter required a sacrifice… Paul’s toothbrush. He was able to “clean” it off enough to collect several liters of the icy clear spring water. It’s a safe bet that we will be ordering another replacement filter as we continue on.
Here we spread our tyvex and enjoyed cold water, lunch and a bit of a siesta before pushing on.
Our next stop, would be Upper Mormon Spring, for water and the evening camp spot. Now that was truly and “Easter egg” hunt. Directions on Guthook were vague.
But after “grass cup” walking, we located the spring and then set up camp. We still had a few miles in us, but we were in an oasis, surrounded by wild horses, docile cattle and super chickens (sage grouse). Who could ask for more? An amazing sunset? We’ll, we had that too.