We walked up all day long. We woke up early and hung around in camp late. We dried all of our bags and mats and our tent in the bright morning sun. I washed my socks in water and prayed they would dry before we left (they did not).
I found two men rooting around in the dumpster near the bathroom (“Vault bathrooms!” we cried!).
“Have you heard of these people hiking to Canada?” The lanky, gristly one asked.
I explained I was one and he replied, “I wish someone would pay me to do that — I walk eight miles every day for free.”
“They don’t hire perverts.” The stout one with a veterans cap on said before I could agree. We all laughed and felt jolly, meeting new people, seeing new sights.
When Avry and I finally had stashed everything in the pockets we liked best, we walked up and up and up and turned around and wondered at how far we came.
I saw two butterflies — one yellow and one blue — and they felt so out of place in the dry heat of the desert. We saw another horny toad and I dodged Avry’s feeble attempt at handing me that trail name.
At noon we found a nice stout shrub with nice stout shade. We were glad to lay under it, reading a blog now and massaging feet then. It was a warm, but the right kind of warm, and perfectly drowsy sun.
Then, after acquainting ourselves with a few other fellow hikers looking sad in the noontime heat (my mom texted me, “only mad dogs and Englishmen…”) we pushed on.
We walked up and up and up, higher than the highway and on and on over bumps and along ridges. There was grass and the beautiful sage growing high.
Our moods sunk as the entire world turned away from the sun, and we picked up Dillon, a stray pup like us.
As we got acquainted and made our way up and up the world came alive again.
I felt best when I was dubbed water scout and ran (actually ran!) to sniff it out. I found it and a gaggle of other hiker trash and we all set up a lively tent city until we became deadly silent at eight pm, all hunkered down in our sleeping bags waiting for the world to turn cold.