On the divide we meet the one person we see all day, a guy driving around in his truck smoking a cigar. We appeciate the three bull elk that just jumped the fence in front of us.
Pete’s knees are hurting him, so we’ve chosen the more gentle route with less certain water. The guy in the truck described good water where I have “troughs” on my map, and indeed they turn out to be very nice spring-fed troughs in giant tractor tires.
Starting down Muddy Creek, I reverse my usual navigation error, placing us further back than we really are. This leads to an unnecessary crosscountry segment that increases our tick sightings, but is otherwise pleasant.
We filter water from a slightly muddy creek.
Finally lose battery power in the GPS tracker. I’ll need to give it more time in the solar charger. Just roads today, so I can complete the track by hand.
A dramatic lightning storm comes up fast, and we take shelter under a fortuitously placed bush. When Ann starts walking again, mud instantly cakes on her feet – one inch, then two, then three. We deem it “Sticky Mud”. It’s funny at first, but we have miles to go. It gets tiring very fast.
We anticipate a long stretch without water tomorrow, so we try to find the last possible water source before Bridger Pass. Turns out to be a cattle pond, but at least one with some clear water at the inlet. Pete has trouble with the gravity filter, so I pump eight litres or so and give him some. Later he worries his batch is contaminated and adds iodine.
Again we have no dry place to camp. We settle for lumpy grass on Bridger Pass. This is where Bob is scheduled to resupply us tomorrow, but we’re a day ahead of schedule now. We can’t get a phone signal, so we tape a note to the back of the sign.