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Begins: May 11, 2014
Date: Thu, Jun 5th, 2014
Daily Distance: 31
Trip Distance: 766.0
Entry Visits: 563
Journal Visits: 14,267
Guestbook Views: 604
Guestbook Entrys: 8
Oregon Desert Trail Map
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The sun hit me at 6:30, and that seemed like a good time to get going. I guess it's 7:30 here, not that it matters. I road-walked the 3.7 miles to the Leslie Gulch, then made a poor choice.
Last night, when I still had 2 quarts of water, I decided that wasn't enough to reach the first spring, which was 21 miles away. So I drank most of it. I could just get more at Mud Spring, which was one mile off-trail. Well....when I reached the Gulch turn- off, I pulled an audible and decided that I did not, in fact, want to do 2 whole off-trail miles and just headed north. With 2/3 of a quart. For 21 hot miles.
The area I was hiking through was incredible. I had never been here or really heard about it and it blew me away. Amazing rock formations were everywhere; I must have taken a hundred pictures.
It was a pretty hard day of hiking; almost all of it was cross-country, going up and down canyons. By around noon I was getting pretty thirsty, but I didn't reach the spring until 2. There was a trough before, but I'll never be thirsty enough to drink that filth. Fortunately, the next spring had a pipe dribbling into the trough. I would have drank from the second trough if I had to, but it was pretty gross as well, with bones and such in it. It took about 3 minutes to fill each quart. I drank 3 quarts right away, using my last Crystal Light. So tasty...
I opted to take a nearby road for the last bit and it cut down to the campground. There is a little store here, but it closed at 4. I dropped y pack and walked the last bit out onto a peninsula. I climbed the rocks at the end, took some pictures, and headed back in.
It's a weird feeling to finish a trail. There's a big feeling of....now what? It was pretty late, so I charged my phone a bit and headed back up the road a bit to stealth camp. Just in time, too, as a ranger rolled through. I'll hit the store in the morning, then start walking/hitching my way to a nearby town to wait for Aimee.
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The 750 mile Oregon Desert Trail traverses some of the most spectacular natural areas of the states dry side, including Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Steens Mountain and the Owyhee Canyonlands. Learn more: www.onda.org