Day 11 – 21.7 miles (167.9 miles)

I left the comfort of my cabin about 7 this morning with the plan to have one last meal at the Frenchglen hotel. I had indulged in dinner last night. ..Cornish game hen, rice pilaf, artichoke and spinach casserole, salad, rolls, and pumpkin bunt cake…I wasn’t sure I could eat again this morning. I started the 3 mile walk over there and the mosquitos were so bad I sprayed myself all over with poison (I’m carrying some natural bug spray, but it doesn’t last very long, so I got some of the strong stuff yesterday). Dawna drove by on her way to work and picked me up. Thank you! !

Eggs, bacon, and toast later I put on my pack and started the hike up and out of my little oasis. The bug were nuts. I broke out the bug condom and put it up over me and my pack. It was hot and I was soon soaked through and through, and that made the mosquitos even hungrier. On the hike up I saw my first rattlesnake. He gave a quick shake while I was still about 10 feet away, so we were able to avoid eachother. I expected to see more today, but he was the only one.

About 5 or 6 miles out the landscape dried out and the mosquitos finally left me alone. Most of the day I walked along gentle undulations of land with occasional glimpses back at the Steens. For some reason the mountain seemed to get closer. Hmm.

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Late afternoon I could see the sky darkening behind me, and I started to hurry to my next water source and then camp. I hurried to put up my tarp realizing I had managed to lose one of my new titanium tent stakes. Doh! I used a sharp stick in place, we’ll see if it holds.

The rain didn’t come, so I made dinner and got myself situated.

Then, the lightening started. I could hear the thunder getting closer and closer, and when I peeked outside my tarp, it looked like it was coming straight for me. Now anyone who followed my CDT hike last year knows I HATE lightening. I tried to go to my happy place and wish the storm away.

The first one passed and left behind a brilliant sky, but I can hear another one coming. And it’s getting on night time, so it will be what it is. I’m sure glad I had good weather for all that ridge walking last week. There are no trees around now, but I’m in a lower spot in some sagebrush that’s almost as tall at the tarp, so I’m hoping that will protect me.

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