Near Antelope Peak the horses began to stampede. I am surprised they didn't smell the dirty monkeys coming towards them.
(yellow monkeyflower below)
Water wasn't to be an issue for today and for tomorrow as we approached Eureka.
We stocked up on five liters of water before reaching the closed Hot Springs Ranch.
However, we ended up dumping two of those liters before reaching Eureka.
Clouds came rolling through and it began to thunder and lightening around us. It probably rained for about two hours. Mud stuck to the bottoms of our shoes. Soon we were both a few inches taller as if we were wearing extensions or platform shoes.
A local rancher stopped to talk to us and was excited to hear our story. Since we were walking directly towards his property we assured him we were going to follow his fenceline instead. He was primarily concerned that his dogs were not tied up and that they could be a problem to us. He even said that if his windmill were up and running that we should grab what we needed.
Where did all the heat go? The rain was so cold we had to put our rain jackets on to keep warm.
Suddenly out of nowhere our next Mountain Range came into sight.
There are Diamonds in them there hills.... the Diamond Range... well maybe not. Mostly Horses.
Regardless... Nevada is a Gem even without its' Mines.
In Eureka, we found Zoner again. He spent the night in a motel there whereas we didn't... so we were on par once more. Zoner even found a kindred spirit named John to hike up to Diamond Peak with us. He is a bicyclist who was touring the country and working at odd jobs along the way. John said he was inspired by all of us to begin a long distance hiking career as well.
The Diamond Mountains were much different than the Toiyabe Range or the Ruby Range to come.
It's ridge-line was at about 10,000 feet, but it was narrow and slimming by design.
There were no man-made trails around here, so one merely walked where it made sense to.
Also, throughout the Diamond Range, the horses often made great trails where it tended to be overly brushy.
For a longer stretch we contoured around the ridge-top. This uneven walking tired our ankles and feet out a bit... but it was reasonable and very doable.
At one point Zoner must have spooked some horses because they came galloping our way. We layed down low to watch them speed by us at an amazing speeds. If only we could get around this terrain as easily as they did.
Thus far, throughout the trip, whenever we had to bushwhack we were sure to get plenty of scrapes and cuts from all of the literal bushwhaking we did. It was fairly common to watch blood run down our legs. No biggy. Beauty Marks. It could be a good idea to wear gators and long pants for this route... but why teach an old horse new tricks... :)
Zoner was a master at gathering water. He would create little reservoirs at small seeps or melting snowbanks to collect water so he could filter from it.
Stacey and i actually didn't filter our water. If we felt we needed to treat the water, we had an eye-drop bottle filled with non-concentrated bleach in it. Two drops per Liter was our prescribed dosage.