Down off the mesa

Canada de las Lomitas (23_145)
Day 31 – 5/22/17
Miles – 25.1
Total miles – 474.4

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The sun rose early for us this morning, mainly because the were no hills toward the horizon. We had barely started packing when the first rays hit us.
Today’s hiking was not hard. First, we had a easy ten mile dirt road walk, then ten more miles of easy trail, and finally a huge drop down off of the mesa. After the first 10 miles, we came to the turn off for a good spring. We dropped our packs and grabbed our water bags then we started the .5 miles walk to the spring. We dropped 100′ down into the valley with two round cement tanks holding water. There was a pipe with the spring water flowing into one of the tanks. We filled all our bottles. It was good cold water.
Late in the afternoon, the trail dropped away. It was a steep drop with rocks everywhere. It was very slow going. Below us was a grand view, mesas and tall round mountains stretched out to the east and the North. It was a beautiful sight. We worked our way down and out onto the flat ground. All of a sudden a policeman came running over a rise waving his arms. Mama Raven, Joon, and I stopped as he came up the valley out of breath. He asked if Catwater was with us. Earlier in the afternoon, Catwater had a scary accident. She tripped over a rock and fell a little ways down the embankment. As she went down, her head hit the ground hard and she landed face first on the dirt. We ran to help her up. Her legs were bloodied and bruised, had a bump on her head, and she was complaining of chest pain on her right side. Catwater carries her Spot device on her back pack’s shoulder strap, on her right side. Thus when she fell, she landed on the Spot device pressing it hard into her chest. She came up saying that now she knows how Mama Raven felt impelling herself with her hiking pole weeks ago. Nonetheless, what we did not realize was that her Spot satellite beacon device had started broadcasting a S.O.S. when she fell. This meant search and rescue was also deployed and that her husband and daughter in Alaska, were notified. As we hiked the remainder of the day, unknown to us, there was a search for Catwater by police. They began their search in a truck at the top of the mountain where the accident happened, but we were far away from that point by then. Finally, at the end of the day they caught up to her. They had been tracking her device. She explained about the accident and that she had no idea her spot device was triggered.  She felt bad about the incident knowing for many hours, the policeman had been searching for her. She immediately texted her family to explain the situation so they could stop worrying about her. She was mad about the whole situation, including the fall. We tried to cheer her up by telling her how a little gray haired lady had out hiked policeman in an all terrain vehicle for hours and hours. Promptly, she let out a loud laugh . . . and off we all went to hike a couple more miles as the sunset.
We ended the day below 6000′ for the first time in weeks. We are on the side of a dried up river with looming red bluffs surrounding us. Joon got her first blister on one of her little toe. She is no longer blister free.

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