We woke up to oatmeal with fruit and soy milk and everything we could ever want. A warm filling breakfast is amazing before we start for the day. We grabbed our bags, discovered that Cyndy and Rupert’s dog doesn’t like Tim with his hat, sunglasses, and pack on, and started our walk up the mountain. With Tim’s friend Alex’s help we knew there was a campground with running water about 18 miles from our current location, so we planned a short day so we could refill our water and take it a little easy up the mountain. About 6 miles out of town there was a Port of Entry (we’re not really sure what for since we were in the middle of the state, but…) and Tim stopped in to use their (very clean) bathroom. In the bathroom there was a PSA about pee bombs, apparently Utah cleans up an insane number of them and wants people to stop throwing them on the side of the road (we agree, we’ve seen way too many of them). It’s a problem everywhere http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/47231
Then we climbed the mountain where we found a nice pullout to eat lunch behind a guard rail. It felt so private we wanted to set up the tent right there, but we were only about 10 miles in, so we packed up our food and headed out!
We made it to the campground earlier than expected. It was completely empty except for one trailer, the campground host. We knocked on his door to explain we didn’t have a license plate number to put on our party stub for the camping fee. It was normally $20, but he let us stay for free! Stu made us feel right at home as we discussed our trip, his life (Rebecca has decided she wants to be a campground host for a summer) and everything else. He even brought us some hot chocolate later in the day.
That night, since we knew it was supposed to rain and there was a possibility of bears, we set up our tent in the bathroom. The campground opened only a few days ago and Stu had just cleaned them after the weekend (it snowed over the weekend, so not too many people had been there anyway). This was probably the weirdest place to set up our tent, but it worked! And it hailed over night, all we were glad to be protected.
The next morning Stu offered to buy us breakfast at the diner about a half mile up the road. We’d started to get used to eating a hot breakfast so we couldn’t refuse. The diner didn’t open until 9am so we were able to sleep in as well! We said our goodbyes after breakfast and headed out to an RV park down the road about 26 miles. There are lots of vault toilet stops along Highway 40 here, mostly trail heads, so the bathroom situation was easy for the first few hours. It was a warm day though and at first break we both made our way into the bathroom not just to pee but to apply our Glide anti chafe stuff, which we’ve affectionately started calling butt stuff. On warm days, walking long distances means your butt cheeks will chafe a bit. And by a bit, I mean a lot. With repeated long days, it’s not comfortable. We started by using Vaseline but that melts and feels really awkward, the Glide stuff goes on like deodorant and stays solid all day. Though, we’re pretty sure it’s not intended to be used on butt cheeks….
We passed Strawberry Reservoir right before Strawberry Music Festival started (it was Tuesday and the festival starts Thursday) which Rebecca used to go to every year back in California.
We barely got rained on all day and made it to the RV park/mobile home park by about 7pm. The manager was a little hesitant to allow us to camp there with a tent because there weren’t any good places, but he saw we couldn’t easily get anywhere else and told us to set up wherever we could find a place. We offered to pay, but he said we could stay for free! The one place we found wasn’t bad at all, and the trees nearby provided some protection from the road noise.
There are so many truckers driving on Highway 40. All day and night oil tankers drive by. We’ve started to recognize a few of the drivers as they go by and we make sure to wave at them when we do. Semi drivers are the most friendly on the road, they almost always move over to give us more room and reduce the wind as they go past and many of them smile and wave when they start to recognize us. We hope we’re adding a little bit of excitement to their day.
We set up the tent and as we got inside it started raining. We have been pretty lucky in this way to not have to set up in the rain. Rebecca had a stomach ache and only ate a bit for dinner while Tim ate hiding out in the tent trying his hardest to not leave any crumbs behind.
Today(s) we walked through:
Rebecca: 47,468 and 60,359 steps
Tim: 42,138 and 56,146 steps
881 miles finished