We have an early start from the Andersons . Happy to be on the road . We have to hitch to avoid yet another diversion . Its a little confusing each time we have to negotiate these moments . The path is supposed to be continious , but we have now had four major detours from the regular path .
That said , the hitch goes well , while im waiting i see this Red tailed hawk . Its a beautiful moment when she is hunting above us .
We are picked up almost imediatly . We are planning to hike about twenty miles today and get into Hikertown tommorow , so i can pick up my post ( my tent that my friend Kylee has sent over ) .
Best laid plans of Mice and men . The second fella who picks us up talks all about the local raptors . Turns out he flew eagles and owls all over the state . He has been training and hunting with them for over thirty years , and even visited the UK to fly birds . Maybe because we are so deep in conversation , next thing we know we are being dropped just a mile from Hikertown .
Olaf , Guss and I hike up to Hikertown , a rather sureal film-set/campsite out on the edge of the desert . The owner had modelled the look of the place on a wild west theme , and opens the door to visitors and their resupply packages throughout hiker season .
While im waiting for the postman I cant resist the urge get a shot outside the local jail .. An uncanny suggestion of what would materialise over the coming days ..
Post arrives . I unpack box , repack box , have a catch up with So-far and So-good , Sparks and the new face for me ‘Toka’ . Time passes , im thinking that ive had an unplanned ‘Nero’ and it doesnt sit well with me . I tell myself to relax and go with the flow . An hour later im on the trail .
A long straight road , acompanied by a pipeline running straight as an arrow , direct to the middle of nowhere .
The wind is picking up . I pull my bandana over my face , then i cut the first monotony that the path has offered me with a bit of photography . I catch a Turkey Vulture speeding low over fields , hunting .
Later as the sunsets I catch a moment of sun coming through the tops of the trees . Satisfied with the photos , i hike on .
Im enjoying my first tumbelweeds and a straight flat road . I stop and eat by the roadside , enjoying the new colours that the sky offers up , pinks and purples bruise the night , the temperature drops and i cover another few miles before night falls and im forced to stop and set up camp .
I wasnt planning on pitching the tent , tonight , but with the first few drops of rain , im happy to have a bit of cover . I can put this tent up with my eyes closed , so doing it by starlight is easy .
Whats not so easy, is holding onto the tent around about midnight as its attempting a take-off . “Grrrrr!” I shout aloud at the tent ! “Flap ! Flop! Whal whaap whapp wapp! ” replys my rebellious wee sleeping contraption .
I sleep again .. tumbelweed , rusted barbed wire , hawkes and sherrifs all jostle for my dreamtime .. I reject them all in favour of ‘Trail mix paradise’ a fantasy i conncoct about a hike to a never ending fountain of trail mix . Made from assorted ingredients ; smarties , cranberries , jelly beans , chocolate coated nuts and dried fruits .. Ahhhh bliss !!
Sweet sweet sweet dreams .