July 17 – Pain in the Basin

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
— William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Ridge above sheep water to Sweetwater River
30.1 miles

I ache.

Hip flexors, hamstrings, achilles tendons, arches, and lower back, all of them from walking endless miles on flat dirt road. No amount of stretching will take all the ache away. One would think it would be no problem walking on flat terrain. Not so. I keep repeating to myself over and over as I am walking, “You can do this, one step at a time, don’t get left behind.” Then bad thoughts sometimes enter. Not good. Mostly the phrase brought up mentally is, “I am all used up, I cannot give more.” Amazingly enough something small happens that turns things around: a funny comment from Stryder, Love Note’s umbrella in the distance, Ninja’s long stride, Sweetfish popping in from nowhere with a story to tell, Drop n’ Roll’s bright smile, and Silly Chili’s constant care to keep me going. I am thankful.

Our early morning water source located by a large herd of sheep was nasty. Fortunately a short while later, trail magic at it’s finest showed up on the horizon. Papa Smurf and his very lovely girlfriend were camped and generously offered fresh water, carrots, orange juice, and apples. Papa Smurf was getting back on the trail after a brief break. So, so great. Thank you!

For much of the day the CDT followed the historical Oregon Trail, California Trail, and Seminole Cutoff. I would like to someday retrace the steps of the early pioneers, but not this part of their journey. I feel like I have experienced quite enough. What is funny is some of us are actually playing the game Oregon Trail on our iPhones.

After 30 plus miles for the day, the Sweetwater River opened its arms to our group. I promptly flung my body into the coolness and smiled. A photo of that is on Drop n’ Roll’s blog. Shortly after that bliss, the skies also opened its arms with hard rain, lightening, thunder, wind, and a magnificent sunset.

Tomorrow Silly Chili and I will be resupplying in Atlantic City, then hitching out to Lander. Our group all decided we just wanted to see the town and all it has to offer.

One hundred thirteen miles of the Great Divide Basin almost done.

















  1. Very dramatic contrast between the hot dusty roads and the dark clouds. You choose the perfect quote!

  2. letshike2

    That first paragraph was quite touching. It brought that tear to the eye. And Congrats to Silly Chili on finishing his classes and taking on such a Grand Adventure with his Mom.

  3. Some days are better than others. And at least you got a 30+!!! Keep on inspiring.

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