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Begins: May 9, 2022
Date: Fri, Jul 1st, 2022
Start: Spring Gulch
End: Schell Range Crest
Daily Distance: 18
Trip Distance: 866.5
Entry Visits: 4
Journal Visits: 4,904
Guestbook Views: 178
Guestbook Entrys: 6
The Northern Schell's Part 2
Another awesome day of hiking on the GBT. To be honest, there basically
hasn't been a day that wasn't just about incredibly scenic on this trail. I
knew I had another hard day but for whatever reason I did much better
today. I was walking by 6 for a 2k climb up to the crest. It was a cool
walk up into the alpine and there were tons of horses and elk all over the
place. I kinda feel bad for them, they want to get away from me but there's
nowhere to go. It's all open country. They just run and run and then look
back but can still see me so they keep running up steep mountains.
My climb was moderate until I looked at my map and my surroundings and was
like, ah fuck, I gotta turn left and climb straight up that wall! It was a
very steep 1000' climb, mostly on jeep road which helped but still,
extremely steep straight up. The last bit was on game trail which was fine
to follow. I reached the crest and then turned right towards North Lovell
Peak which I skirted just below on poor horse trail and then went over
Lovell Peak. I really felt like I was straddling the Schell's with giant
valleys on both sides of me way way below.
After Lovell I picked my way down on horse trail and picked up a super old
jeep trail that was pretty overgrown but fine to walk. Sadly I lost all my
elevation gained this morning and it felt hot as I dropped in elevation and
the sun got higher. It felt like I was exiting the mountains but I turned
right onto some better roads for a few miles until I reached Twin Springs
for a long break. I even shaved here! It felt very good to shave off the
week+ beard. Refreshing! Some horses came to drink and lingered until I
left and then went to the water.
I turned up McCurdy creek and was instantly annoyed. There was the classic
looking sheepherders trailer which meant there were sheep up canyon which
meant there were probably sheep dogs that would attack me. Sheep dogs are
the fucking worst. I've known many hikers to be bitten by them. I've had a
few bad experiences in the past but never been bitten. The sheepherder was
there so I walked over but these guys are almost always Peruvian and speak
no English. I kept saying Perro Perro and miming a dog bite with my hand
but he didn't understand. And that's the extent of my Spanish.
I walked up canyon and dear lord, there were probably 1000 sheep all
clustered together. It was ridiculous. What an outrageous use of our public
lands. The sheep absolutely destroy the land and the water. I hadn't heard
any dogs yet which was highly surprising but I went XC off the road a
little up the slope to just get away a bit more. Eventually I realized
there really were no dogs and I relaxed and then basically walked though
tons of sheep, practically stepping on them and all the babies.
Through the herd I climbed another 2k up to the crest again, this climb
seemed easier for me late in the day. Then I had several miles of actual
real singletrack trail that contoured around several alpine bowls, super
awesome. As I made my way to the piped spring I started to get a bit
worried. I hadn't had much water in hours, didn't have much with me and the
next water was like 11 miles away tomorrow. Not really a good call on my
part. It also didn't look too good as I was getting closer. The piping was
broken, the trough empty but at least the spring was running through all
the horse prints. There was good water, it just took some effort to find a
tiny tiny ledge to get the bottle under to collect a gallon of water.
Annoying but a hell of a lot better than the spring being dry.
I loaded up and walked on just a half mile to a saddle to camp. Good shade
and wind blockage from some large mohagony trees, a GBT nemesis usually.
And cell reception which is very rare in camp, I messaged with Heather for
a long time. She's on the Potomac Heritage Trail for a bit, we will be
reunited in 2 weeks time.
The Great Basin Trail is an ~1,100 mile loop route solely contained within the state of Nevada and the geographic feature of the Great Basin. The route was created as an epic thru-hiking adventure by Ryan "Dirtmonger" Sylva. For more information: http://www.freedirtmonger.com/p/great-basin-trail.html