I was concerned about getting through the night with so little water, but it turned out to be fine. I only have 3 miles to the next water source. I'm able to eat, so it won't be so bad.

Cheaper than a frosting at the salon

It is colder than expected, though. I'm in a canyon sinkhole, so there's a layer of frost over everything.

Once I'm out of the canyon, it becomes clear that the day will be rolling hills with mild inclines. I have to make it as far as possible today, because the zero in the previous town means I have to walk in 2 days what would normally take me three.

It doesn't help that I have to lay out my quilt and bivy in the sun to dry.

When I finally get to the water source, my pack explodes, and I take a while to drink as much water as necessary. It's these times of dehydration that make you appreciate how wonderful water really is, even if it's from a trough.


I'm not sure why there are so many wasps around this trough, but they are buzzing around me the entire time.

I don't mind wasps or bees anymore - being on the trail has desensitized me to the potential inconvenience of a sting - because if you don't bother them, they never try to sting you. If they land on my skin, I certainly wave them off, but otherwise, they're fine.

One of the wasps lands on my dirty water cup, and I watch it as it tries to determine whether the cup has something of value. Before it figures it out, the weight of wasp causes the cup to fall, and the wasp falls with it. For a full second, it writhes in the water, and then it just gives up. I suppose it has accepted its fate.

I WILL SAVE YOU WASP.

Scooping up the wasp in the water cup, I pour both it and the collected water on the ground. It moves slowly, seemingly dazed from the flurry of of chaos.

After about 30 seconds, it starts to crawl on the ground again, apparently continuing on its quest to find something normal. It's time for it to fly, though. I can't leave it here without the ability to fly. I use the cup to nudge it a little - to potentially scare it into flying away. It doesn't, probably because its wings are too wet. I wait, and try again, and try again, until finally it flies away. Crisis averted, wasp saved.

Go west, young wasp. Go west.

I have a limited amount of time to get to the next town, because once the post office closes tomorrow at 4PM, its closed for 3 days. I can't wait in a town that long - I have to get there by 4, precarious as it is.

I'm not going to stress about it, though. Worst case, I don't get my resupply package, and have to buy town food. I don't want that at all, but I also don't want to rush through and be miserable on these last days of the thru-hike.

I've drunk 3 liters of water, filled up 3 liters more, and all my gear is dry. Time to keep going.


The terrain is beautiful, but much of the same. The closer I get to Mexico, the less variety there is in both the views and landscape.

It's like Arizona didn't even consider the variety profile of my Instagram account.

Fortunately, the next water source is a spigot with potable water - I don't have to spend any more time filtering water. It's easy terrain, and after being refreshed with many liters of water, the walk is quite pleasant. I get to a place called Kentucky Camp for lunch, and set up on the deck of a cabin. The caretaker of this historical site tells me the right spigot to get water from, and I'm ready to take a 20 minute break and then move on.

COME AT ME BRO

Kentucky Camp has a different caretaker each month, and I happened to get here just as she had some of her own visitors. I say hello, and interact, but not so much as to interrupt their conversation. It would be nice to be included, but it's fine.

At one point, they set up a little picnic on the deck, and the call me over.

I probably shouldn't, I should probably just go.

But then I remember that it's the unexpected times that make the trail worthwhile, so I decide to forget about my schedule and join them.

It turns out, 2/3 of them are Korean.

안녕하세요 ! 저는 고랜이에요 !

Crew

We talk for a quite a while. They’ve been friends for years, but they make me feel welcome, and it’s almost like we had planned for me to be there.

Sometimes, timing works out really well on the trail. It reinforces my belief that I’m supposed to be out here, doing what I’m doing.

It turns out, the guy in the group had his own adventures riding his bike across the country back in 2012. He reminisces about the rigors traveling through the wilderness on your own, and the people you meet.

They were a lovely group, and I'm really glad I stayed to talk with them. I'm also really glad they had cookies.

As the sun begins to set, it's time for them to go, and the caretakers says I can stay on the deck. I could go inside, but apparently there are rats in the ceiling, and inhaling rat urine fumes is toxic.

Goodness.

What I'm really appreciative of is the fact that the cabin has electricity, so I can charge all my devices.

Next time, I'll be more charming, and maybe the caretaker will let me stay in their trailer.

Next time.

Tonight, I'll cowboy camp on the deck. I wish I had Nefertari here to protect me from the night, but this will have to do.

I wonder if Nefertari has had another visitor since I've been gone. I wonder if she got the love she wanted.

After I'm set up, it's well past sunset, and I walk up the nearby hill to get some data coverage. It's relaxing to see what the world is up to when I'm out here.

Some people feel the need to disconnect, but I'm not burdened by the internet or the rest of the world. I don’t quite understand why it’s so common.

After internetting for a while, I climb back down the hill, and walk through the cabin. It used to be the headquarters for a failed mining operation long ago.

Temptasia

Turning the corner, I meet a new friend. I’m super friendly, because I don’t want her to kill me out here. Internally, I call her Temptasia. I don’t say it out loud, though; I don’t want to offend her. I’ve watched enough movies to see how that ends.

Tomorrow, I'm getting up super early. Tomorrow, I have 26.5 miles to walk, and I have to complete it before 4PM.

Alarm set.

I wonder if the rats leave the ceiling and roam the deck at night.

I guess we’ll find out.