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DWTH Day 24: We Out-Hiked A Storm & 3rd Cache

DWTH Day 24: We Out-Hiked A Storm & 3rd Cache

Stats

👣 Miles: 17.70

📈 Elevation Gain: 1,529 ft

📉 Elevation Loss: 1,212 ft

Overall Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Windy

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An Early Wake-Up

Thru-Hiker walking an old mining road toward a mountain in the desert.
Old Mining Road Walking

We had the motivation to get going before 7:30 am today…it was a cache day!

Our secondary motivation was that the forecast radar looked like a small storm would hit us between 7:45 and 8:00 am. It is the WORST having to pack up and start hiking in the rain. It’s more pleasant to already be hiking than to wait. 

Speaking of rain, the forecast radar said nothing would get us last night and 3 different rain storms woke us up. 😂

We had pitched well in a good spot for the potential of the morning storm coming early, so we stayed fairly dry. 

Old Mining Roads to First Water

We had a relatively easy navigation morning switching between some very old mining roads. Occasionally, a desert ironwood tree or creosote would grow directly in the middle and make it confusing. Still, easy enough. 

Our first water source today was your classic ranching cattle trough…conveniently with a float valve. Love those when they work. 

No cows around, but we looked up to see that 8:00 am storm coming in hot closer to 9 am. And, it looked dark and menacing. 

We Out-Hiked the Storm!

A storm on the horizon in the desert.
The Incoming Storm

We tossed our rain shells and pack covers on so we’d be more ready than a few days ago. 

Then, we booked it. 

For once, the route took us perpendicular to the storm’s path. AND, we could also see the northern end of the storm. 

Karma had the wet tarp ready in case we wanted to say F-it and wait it out. 

Instead, we hustled, and for once…we hiked out of its path to the north and it missed us. 🥳 🎉

Some Petroglyphs

Karma loves seeing petroglyphs and then hypnotizing what they mean and about the lives of those who made them. 

With some less than a tenth of a mile off route, we headed over to explore. 

Most were in great shape still. Except one where Bob, Taylor, and Pat decided to carve into it in 1972. 🤬

Don’t be Bob, Taylor, or Bob!

Great Game Trails…with Cairns?

Eventually, we needed to go through a more pass to get to our cache. 

We found the mentioned game trail and were surprised to see cairns marking the way. 

It was nice and steep for a section which felt surprisingly good. 

The path went straight up and found a contour to follow around and over to the pass. 

Partway along the cairned trail, we were surprised to see another human walking in the opposite direction. He looked just as confused to see humans as we felt seeing him. 

He clearly was out there to be alone in his cotton Game of Thrones t-shirt. We could tell didn’t really want to say hi back. He did, but definitely anti-social. Like bro, we haven’t seen anyone in 3 days and you’re the anti-social one? 🤔

3rd Cache

Our third cache was actually in a spot we had van camped before and we knew it well. 

However, we accidentally got to it on Saturday, and wow…people!  Lots of vans, truck campers, a few RVs, and at least one bus. 

We did a quick scan and didn’t see anyone we knew. 

So, we got to work unburying our cache. We saw that a smaller animal had tried to get in a bit (based on the way some dirt was found), but they didn’t succeed. It left a small 1” cylindrical poop.  Definitely a burrowing critter. 🧐

Because of all the rain, the dirt was muddier and harder to get out. Karma did a great job pulling out our bucket and water gallons. 

Luckily, when we cached, we went far enough off the road that we could reasonably hide. Our forest green tarp also helps keep it stealthier. 

Cache Goodies

We thoroughly enjoyed our Dr. Pepper Cream Soda as we sorted food. 

Karma was particularly pleased that he put a bag of Skittles in this cache. Apparently, he didn’t put them in every cache and he couldn’t remember which he did…playing roulette with Skittles. 🎲

I was stoked to get the cache meal cooking. We had that good packaged heavy Indian Food. Great flavors and different calories. 

Camp

Two thru-hikers hold up their food cache bucket and cached water where they camped on their thru-hike.

For the first time on this trail, we timed it right to camp at this cache. 

That’s often nicer because it gives you time to rest down a little extra food.  We made it to this cache a half day early, so we could eat more. 

Now, we lay listening to the hum of a highway in the distance. We’ll cross it tomorrow on the way to our 4th cache. 

It’ll be just like living in Vail, Colorado when you open your window at night…highway white noise. 😂