Friday, July 12, 2019

Day 16: Another Long Day

March 16: The wind picked up and whipped my tent around for much of the night, but the rain held off and the wind died down by morning. It was a beautiful morning, in fact, but dark clouds started blowing in even before we left camp and rain was in the forecast.

George walked around camp with a scorpion that another hiker, Faiza, had found in her tent that morning! George had cut off the stinger of its trail making it harmless and carried it around for people who wanted to get a good look at the scorpion. I felt bad for the scorpion, though. I'd have preferred if George just scooped it up in a cup for people to admire, then released it into the wild unharmed.

This scorpion was found in Faiza's tent in the morning!

Molly is a yoga instructor in real life--or least was a yoga instructor--and had started providing yoga sessions for the other hikers, which I mention so the photos of people doing yoga make sense. =)

The support crew served breakfast and started our day's hike a half hour earlier than normal in an effort to make it through some slot canyons before any rain started and the trail immediately dropped into the narrow confines of a canyon bottom. The riverbed was currently dry and we hoped it would stay that way until we got through and could get out of it.

We weren't in the canyon very long before we started a steep, rocky climb 300 meters (about 1000 feet) up, then a steep and rocky 800 meter (2600 feet) descent during which the wind kicked up and blew us around like rags.

It was rough and tough hiking, and the going was slow. Once we hit the bottom of the steep downhill, the trail mostly leveled out and our progress picked up accordingly.

In the middle of the day, a few light sprinkles hit us--enough that people put on raincoats and pack covers, but they turned out to be largely unnecessary. I had an umbrella but given the strong winds, it wasn't a good time to use it so I kept hoping and praying that the rain wouldn't start.

A few of the hikers from the group were having trouble keeping up and our group seemed to split up with the main, large group up front and a few of the injured and slow walkers in the back. Usually when we took a break, they would have a chance to catch up, but I noticed midway through the day that this stopped happening and we'd continue before the people in the back caught up.

One of the hikers had twisted his ankle badly the day before and was limping badly and I had my suspicions that he wouldn't be able to cover the necessary distance today, and eventually we passed a dirt road where a support vehicle had come out to meet us and pass out the Jordanian version of Twinkies and I told Karolina that I bet they were going to pick up at least some of the slower hikers here and drive them back the rest of the way to camp. We still had quite a ways to go to camp and I just couldn't see how they could make it before midnight at the pace they were going.

We continued onward, now short a few hikers but confident that the support crew had their backs.

We staggered into camp late in the day but before sunset--so an improvement over yesterday! But we were all exhausted. It had been a brutal day overall and I was looking forward to dinner.

I was right in my guess that some of the hikers were, in fact, driven the rest of the way to camp from where the truck met us on the trail, but I was also surprised to learn that some of the slower hikers wanted to walk the entire distance and did so not arriving into camp until well after sunset. As a side note,  I carried my headlamp this time around. I learned my lesson after arriving into camp after sunset the evening before! But I was glad it didn't come to that.

After dinner,  I went out looking for scorpions again and I found one! But it was a tiny little thing, maybe the size of a pinky nail--so small that I couldn't even get a good photo of it. A little disappointing overall, but at least I found something. =)

A few minutes after settling into my tent for the night, it started raining hard! I was really glad the rain waited until I was already done for the day, and fell asleep to the sound of rain pounding my tent.

Molly giving a quick yoga session before the day's hike
The plan was to get through this area at risk of flash floods before any rain started!

The trail was quite rugged and rocky the first several hours!

From here, the trail became a lot flatter and much easier and our speed picked up.
This is Connie from New York, and she's wearing the poncho because an ever so light sprinkle started. But it turned out not to really be needed.

Sarah from Belgium is so tired, that she tries to take a nap during this break.

Karolina spent part of the break feeding Basha her apple core.

It's a goat head. Not fully decomposed....

I spent a little time hiking with  Basha, our donkey who would carry extra water for us through the rest of the hike. He thru-hiked the Jordan Trail last year doing the same thing so he's already got more experience on the Jordan Trail than me
! =)
Relaxing in the common area of camp
Looks like rain clouds!
But it was a beautiful sunset!
There wasn't a bathroom for women, but this "femail" room worked just as well. =)
Thomas, a.k.a. The Real Hiking Viking, apparently needed a trim, and Puk volunteered to trim his 'stash a bit.

1 comment:

Karolina said...

You forgot to mentioned we had fries for breakfast that morning! Yay! :-)