We hadn't been hiking for long, but it was just too refreshing and inviting to ignore.
While we soaked and played, Trevor backtracked a bit to go for a swim in the Colorado River. He came back about 15 minutes later inviting us all to join him.
Brad, Azure and Jace all agreed and Sierra and I stayed at the creek to guard our stuff. Sierra still didn't feel really well, and I really didn't want to take a single step back when I knew I still had so far to go forward.
Besides, I was already soaking in a pretty cold, pretty fine water hole! A couple of hikers came trucking on by while the family was gone. They said they were regular hikers, so we quizzed them on the trail. They told us that if we got going soon then most of the switchbacks would be in the shade - but we didn't have much time. So Sierra and I were anxious to get on our way - that was encouraging news indeed! But when Trevor came back and said that we really would be sorry if we didn't take the plunge too, we acquiesced. When we got to the river we stripped down as much as was acceptable in daylight, then at everyone's encouragement did a half-dive from a waist-deep position.
It was FRIGID. Oh-so-COLD! And SO refreshing. We loved, loved, loved it. And the guys were right! We were so glad we did it. It made the next while of hiking very much more comfortable. We had no idea how much of the creek we'd enjoy on our way to the Indian Garden Campground, so after our swim we soaked our neck coolers, soaked clothes and got moving.
Most of the switchbacks at first WERE in the shade, but we had left the water and it was getting hot fast. Still, on we trod. The best part for me was looking back every few minutes and seeing how very far we had come. It was encouraging.
I'd get excited every time I'd start to hear the creek - and whether it was a trickling stream or a puddle of water, I'd find a way to get soaked. In fact at one point it had been a while since we'd seen water. My clothes were completely dry and I was feeling the effect of the heat. Brad said there was some water up ahead and some shade to rest in. When we got there and found the water really was just a mudhole on the trail, I didn't care. It was wet. I took off my shirt, plunged it into the mud, then threw it on me fast. Oh. MY. WORD!!! I stunk SO HORRIBLY until the next water! The mud hole was filled with mule manure. YUCK YUCK YUCK. But ... it was wet. That's a big HAHAHAHA now ... then, I just knew it was better to endure the stink than the heat. I was so glad all along the hike that Brad not only brought water purifying pills, but also had a water filter.
When we'd hit moving water, he'd fill up the water bottles, filter the water and have fresh cold refreshing drink for all of us. We, all of us, know from previous hiking experience that you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you'll arrive, not matter what pace you're moving at.
Near the end of this 2nd day of hiking I had to keep reminding myself. We were tired, we were hot. But the scenery was amazing. And we were conquering ourselves!
When we saw this sign we hooped and hollered! We stopped at the sign and talked about how .3 miles was just once around our block and then on down to the Benedict's house. We could do it!
All of us found a spot and collapsed in the heat of the day.
It was about 1pm when we arrived and it was hot - over 100 f and continued to get hotter until the sun went down. While we all moved in and out of sleep, Jace seemed to be energized and worked tirelessly to find someone to play with him. Azure sacked out on the picnic table and woke all of us to a scream when a squirrel started nibbling at her toes! It was a peaceful afternoon.
We filled ourselves with smoked clams, whole wheat bread and power bars ... night came quickly. The wind howled, and we were all exhausted.
Everyone was asleep by 8pm. Except Azure and Sierra kept getting a scare as Jace would sit up, grab one of them by the neck, stare in their faces and yell that he's a scary zombie. Then he'd go right back to sleep. Again, the moon was brilliant and I'd open my eyes ever hour or so and gaze in awe at the majesty of the desert's night sky. I love white noise, so the howling wind was heaven to me.
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