Friday, July 12, 2013

Thur, 11 July - Bad Alkaline Water an Desert Heat

Did I take a wrong turn and end up back in the NM desert?  The last 50-60 miles were on hard packed dirt roads with lots of cows and cow poop, open rolling hills of sagebrush without a tree in sight, and sun and heat over 100 degrees.  Even got sunburn on my very tan left arm.  It was only three days ago I was near snow.

It's actually pretty and I saw lots of Elk and a few coyote. You could hear the howl of the coyotes from both sides of Bridger Pass all night and this morning; where I camped overnight.  Still the hardpacked road, heat, and never changing terrain seemed to go on forever.  And the sweat bees and delta wing biting flies where horrible.  Despite feeling hot and fatigued every time I stopped to rest the flies would drive me nuts.  I killed dozens at a time, sometimes two and three with one swat on my arm or leg.  

There was a warning about the alkaline water in the area so I made a point of only getting water from the north fork of the Slavery Creek and a spring on the climb up Bridger Pass. I carried six liters from each and skipped the dirty water of Muddy Creek.  Leys map said the spring was ok but it smelled and was warm.  I think it was alkaline but I saw no other options and took the needed six liters to make it to Rawlins.  As I hiked I became more and more fatigued, with a cotton mouth despite drinking, and a headache and flu like symptoms.  At first I thought it might be heat stoke.  Late tonight I started with the runs.  I think I definitely got bad water.  Glad to be in a room in Rawlins tonight.

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