CDT, Day 18 — July 20 — 23.8 miles
Another tough day.
I left Bull Springs at 6:45 a.m. under blue skies and dead calm, returning to the pipeline right-of-way for a 14.5-mile hike to a reservoir — maybe a swim, too.
Soon my lower back started hurting and I couldn’t find a way to carry my pack comfortably. The CDT passed through sagebrush steppe vegetation all day. I ate lunch by the trail, more to rest my back than to gain calories.
About 1:30, I arrived at the reservoir and found Rocket Man, S'mores and Arthur eating lunch. After removing my shoes and most of my clothing, I jumped in. Wonderful! My colleagues followed suit.
Onward for nine back-hurting miles to a piped spring, where I hoped to spend the night. When I arrived, Arthur was filling his water bottles with clear spring water (see photo). He continued on to catch his friends.
I happily stayed, drinking two quarts of the clean, cool water. I set up camp and cooked dinner. I hope my back recovers during tonight’s sleep.