Critters

Day 14, Tuesday June 30, 2015
Start near 08-234WT farm tank (pond), mile 1685.9
End 09-106WT Weasel Spring, mile 1708.4

At first light I got more water at the tank, since the next sure water was not for another twelve miles.

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The path took a different direction than I anticipated, gradually descending for hours along a narrow ridge that afford views on both sides.

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Around 8AM, Tigerlily and Downhill meet me on the trail and chat.

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They are thru-hikers who made it as far as Pagosa Springs, flipped all the way up to West Yellowstone, and are continuing to hike south for a while. We exchanged information about water sources, trail conditions, and so forth.
Downhill said, “Do you have a mosquito net?”
Tigerlily nodded, “Yeah, mosquitoes in the Winds (my next section) are so thick you will inhale them when you breathe.” 
I must have turned several shades paler after hearing that. Yikes.
The trail continues to pass interesting landforms. The morning is mostly cloudy for once, offering welcome shade.

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I see sheep for the first time this trip, that may be hard to make out in the distance.

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I also see an odd furry lump on the trail ahead, realize the situation, and immediately detour off the trail.

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But not far enough, as the sheepdog comes over to warn me. He also tells a nearby dog, and I can see a third in the distance.
Soon I am at my next water source. It is a good thing the flock was not already here.

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Uh oh, the flock comes while I am filtering water. The dogs are likely in the rear, so I move on down the trail before they discover me.

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At a BLM kiosk at a nearby road, I use the shade of the structure to finish filtering water. Trees and their shade are long gone.
I do a quick tick check since I have shade, and find six on my socks and one grabbing on to lining of my shoe. I do not normally do mid-day tick checks, and never found so many ever. I have mostly stayed on road all day except for the sheepdog incident.
Rain starts suddenly at 2PM, or rather hail, and is over in a few minutes, time enough for a thorough soaking.
The trail gradually descends down to rolling grassland.

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So on my nightly tick check, how many did I find?

You can’t handle the truth!

[Finished audiobook The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton]

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at sagebrush.com, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.