Wind howling through a 15 foot cactus makes an interesting sound. I imagine the wind is screaming in pain and wishing it never encountered the cactus. At least, that is how I felt when I tried to get a bit of cactus off my shoe. I wished I had never encountered the thing! This one specific cactus plant in the desert sends out little cacti bombs that stick to anything in their path. I tried to remove one with my hand. That was a mistake as it just stuck to my fingers and I had to pull it out with some sticks. Ouch! Jamey even got hit by an airborne one that launched a missile off at him in some strong winds.
My butt was feeling a lot better and healing quite well. Chamois cream does miracles. The prior night it stung to put some of the cream on my buttocks, but now it felt refreshing.
I got up early again, as I like to start cleaning up camp and getting an early roll on. I had my morning two oatmeals and coffee and packed my stuff up. The wind stopped, and the night chilled down to my two jacket temperature.
We were rolling in water at this stop. Jamey planted three gallons and trail angels had stashed many more public gallons at the water cache. We ended up using one of the trail angel gallons to top our water off as I wanted to make sure I didn’t run dry. I loaded up my three liter camelback and an almost full spare liter. I also pounded a bunch beforehand at the advice of Jamey. More water in the tummy means that much less water on the back, but with 4 liters it was still heavy!
I started out about 30 minutes before the others so I could take it easy and rest my bottom a bit more. I actually enjoy the solitude of solo riding and being alone out in nature. I also rarely ride with earphones just so I can experience the moment a little better.
The terrain was much easier at the start. Or it might just feel that way after a good nights sleep. We flowed the trail for quite a while and then hit about a two mile uphill hike. Our next goal was to hit some water at an animal stock tank and refill. I was expecting something like our last tank; a huge metal container with tons of water. Instead we had trouble finding the water, but Jamey finally spotted it to the side of a wash
It was a small green tank of water the size of a large bathtub covered in bees. We pushed our way through the bees and filtered the water to get at least 3 liters for the next section. The water tastes great and was quite clear after filtering.
After getting water we had some more uphill. It wasn’t too terrible and eventually we got to some flowy downhill that was easy enough for me to do some filming as we road. I even tried a brief “Facebook Live” video as we rode down, since I discovered we had pretty good cell reception! The trail was fun, and the setting sun was cool and nice out. As I as filming we had a huge military helicopter fly over, shaking the ground and something like 100′ above. It was a pretty cool experience for somewhere so far out in the wilderness.
Eventually we got to the bottom of the trail; it ended at a huge river right at the trail head. Jamey had heard that you could order delivery pizza, so he opted to get us a few pepperoni pizzas delivered. So, we setup camp right by the road and about 30 minutes later a truck pulls up with a guy who said, “did someone order a pizza?”