Day 30

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Polvadera to Goat Tank Canyon
13 mi ::
327 mi ::
Sunny, warm, breezy

Mark and Mary Ann take us to Martha’s Black Dog Coffeehouse for breakfast, a good place to stock up on protein, carbs, and caffeine for the day. We chat until the shoe store opens at 9, then wander over there. This time we just start with men’s sizes. We go through just about every running, walking, and cross-training shoe they have. At last I spot a model that has a size 8 4E, the widest size made. As soon as she puts them on Ann says, “Yep, these are the ones!” I’m excited and relieved. She wears them out of the store, leaving the box.

We suggest that Mark and Mary Ann drop us off on highway 60, but they insist on taking us all the way themselves. We’re amazed and grateful. Buying them a tank of gas doesn’t seem like enough.

Because we don’t have to spend time catching rides, we’re back at the spot where we stopped before noon. We do a little changing-of-the-shoes ceremony, then say goodbye to Mark and Mary Ann.

The new shoes appear hopeful. Ann says some new foot muscles will need to be trained, but we make good time.

It’s a relief to be back under the skies with few cares beyond eating, drinking, and finding our way. As much as we enjoyed all the reastaurant eating, we’re also happy to come back to our simple, wholesome trail food. We start talking with optimism again about the trail ahead.

The day is spent watching the Sawtooth Range recede in the south. We enter a large grassland, and start encountering windmills with water again. By nightfall we’ve walked 13 miles. We happily make our beds beneath growing numbers of stars.

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