7/12, day 77, 27 mi., 9000′
This was a great day for wildlife: scores of pronghorn; ptarmigan hen in a tree at eye level and her chick equally visible across the road, horned toads, snake, beaver dam and when I took a picture of the beaver dam I flushed out a duck that went downstream in a panic and her ducklings went upstream in a line.
The roads got better, drier, and hotter as we hiked. Late yesterday we wondered if we would recognize a split in the road it was so bad. The road turned into a 4wd jeep road, then into a better jeep road, then into a dirt road. It finally made it to an improved dirt road. We only saw one person all day – in a beat up sedan. He had earphones on so he could hear his radio over the roar of a muffler with a hole in it.
The temp reached 104* while we hiked on the dusty road through the sagebrush. We revived late in the day as it cooled and camped after sunset.
We could see smoke from a new fire in the south, CO forest fire again. We’re concerned about hiker friends behind us.