CDT, Day 18 — Back Pain and a Swim

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.

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