Wednesday, May 08, 2019 – 11.70 miles
Rather than dying away during the night, the wind switched directions so that my tent was less sheltered. My hiking pole contracted slightly with the force, plus I had pitched the tent with the pole handle facing upwards (have I mentioned yet that my pole has made a hole in the pole cup, so that the tip sticks through? My tent gets more trashbag by the day) and the tip was driven further into the ground, resulting in dreadful flapping. Despite being tired in the morning, I was happy because of the scenery, which was beautiful and became nicer to walk in once the wind finally died away around 9:00 AM.
The trail followed a ridge sprinkled with flowers to a pinyon pine forest, then entered a wind farm. I was pleasantly surprised by the farm’s dissimilarity to those before, with its small number of wind turbines surrounded by rugged terrain, so even then I was happy. I saw another rattlesnake – that makes seven.
I decided to camp about a mile before Golden Oaks Spring, having enough water for another dry night. I had been tempted by a pretty valley not far before, but hikers are instructed not to stray from the trail on this private land, so I resigned myself to an established, not particularly sheltered campsite beside the trail. With semi-insane intensity I set to work rigging up my tent so that it wouldn’t flap in the wind. I drove my pole as far as possible into the ground, staked out all eleven guylines (I added an extra one when I first bought the tent) without using the line locks, placed rocks on the guylines to impede movement, and even tied the looser part of the doors with paracord so they couldn’t flap. At present, the assemblage is working pretty well. Reward my semi-insanity, k?