Day 100 heading to big Sandy

July 22nd.

Well that was a great campsite but another lazy start. I just didn’t want to get out of my bag. 

But I need those miles. I slowly packed up, slurped my tea and I was ready.
I hoisted up my pack  and rejoined the trail by 6.30, Once again it was a cool morning. 
But once I was waking I soon warmed up and the sun was slowly rising. I pushed on down  the trail, so far nothing to see but the winding  road heading into the distance .
My target was about 40 miles away  so I really didn’t have to push too hard to day.
Then the terrain  was unknown, I was still on a dirt road but it soon began to meander and climb but was still pleasant to hike  along.
Okay water was in 4 miles or approximately  2hrs.
The trail now dived  sharply left and headed into a forest, which was much cooler than on the road, at last I came to water.
I filled up 2 litres then drank one, this section had an abundance of water so I didn’t have  to carry too much .
I pushed  on, the trail winding it’s way through the forest until I emerged into sunshine. Phew it’s hot with no shade. I checked my watch  78 and not quite 7.30!!. SOME  breeze would be good  right now  lol. the trail once again dived back into the forest where I meandered for a while crossing several  nice bridges .
I decided to stop for a break and glugged  another liter  of water , then scoffed a few snacks .

I had just moved on when something caught my eye. As I got nearer I could see it was another hiker whose name was Otter and was from Houston Texas. We chatted a while  before I moved on.

I pushed on down the trail, really enjoying  my morning .
Several hours later i arrived at a large creek, luckily  there was a fallen tree that I could cross over with.
Once across I got more water before deciding to wash my shirt  as it stank, I also  washed down my grimey legs and arms.hmm much better.
I lay my shirt on  branch to dry as I took ten minutes, as I was chilling Otter came by..
see you up the trail  buddy. 
I got my self dressed, grabbed my pack  and set off after him.
But I couldn’t see him as the trail it snaked around , so much so that it was difficult to follow. Several  times I was off trail and so  was becoming annoyed. Arrrrrhhhh. 
Okay if follow your… I took out my map, trying to find the best way to intercept the trail rather than walking back..
Okay i think this road will do it , it will intercept the trail.
Great I thought and headed on . Except some of these  roads no longer exist.  So once again I was soon miles off trail.
Okay plan B. I sat under a large tree and studied my map. 
As I was debating the best option. 2 wildlife rangers came by in their truck.
Your not too far off trail the man said. Just head up this road, he then  gave me his spare water.
I sat for a few more minutes but when i got up I was surprised to see that I was surrounded by cows. (Must be their tree 🌳 🤣)
I set off up  the road as I was directed. It must have been 2 more hrs before 1 campsite appeared. It had a Pit toilet  so used that. and then dumped all of my trash. I sat contemplating my next move as it began to thunder and drizzle. 

Bugger I said as I hoisted up my pack and marched out. I had just got to the bridge when a black truck appeared, dogs heads poking out of the windows.  They stopped to say hi and the lady gave me a bag of biscuits great.
I thanked her, then  headed to the creek to water up , If  it starts raining then I was diving into my tent.
As i made my way up the road the sky grew blacker. I’m going to get wet!!!
It began to drizzle  again, but i kept pushing on ,heading towards blue skies. 
It was soon sunny once again…bloody mad weather. 
I was pushing on when I noticed another truck behind me. 
It was the two rangers on their way back.
He slowed to say hi again.
I asked if he could drop me at the trailhead.

He pondered for a moment the said yeah jump in the back. 
As we drove on a large herd of horned antelopes crossed the road. Wow.
The ranger Stuart and his assistant Rachel dropped me at the trail head.
I was just thanking him when he asked where my Bear spray was ?
I explained that its in my pack as i couldn’t get a holster (sold out)
With that he reached into his truck and gave me his, i’m given then free he said,
Wow thank you so much.
He then chatted to me about the bears also about fishing and what he does, It was really Interesting .
Okay back to the trail, by now it was roasting  as I hiked on and of course it was up.
I came to another trail head and headed down towards water. I dropped my pack and began to filter the water. 
Okay 2 more hours maybe!, but as I hoisted up my pack thunder rang out,shortly followed by drizzle. F*uck…maybe just  shower. I headed for a clump of trees, there  had been tents here before.
I waited for a few minutes as it appeared to stop, then more thunder rang out followed by heavier rain.bugger. 
I quickly threw up my tent, threw my pack inside and got in. I sat there for 10 minutes as the rain lashed down. 
Then the bloody  sun came out again and it was roasting.  I need to understand this weather as I am pitched  now….

I grabbed my food bag and stove and walked several yards away from my tent and began to cook.
I was now roasting and a lovely evening, i should have hiked on but now I am settled.
I had a backpackers panty meal that was  beef stroganoff with mushrooms and noodles. Rather tasty, washed down with several cups of tea.
I was just packing up  when Pat came by  hiker I hadn’t  seen I  months.so it was good to  catch up .

Then trail worker came by he was telling me about the trail and the blowdowns . So tomorrow could be challenging. 

Night all

Mileage   23

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