May 18th
Mesa San Luis(468.5)-N of Jones Canyon(494.6)
Today was one of the best days of hiking so far! I took a bunch of pictures and videos, but feel like nothing can capture it fully. We hiked across what I showed yesterday and wove all around and over different mesas. It was wonderfully overcast all day and much cooler than it’s been.

The terrain varied all day. There was deep sand, dirt trail, and hard sandstone.

There were some really nice cairns to follow all day and we were impressed by both the frequency and the quality of them.

I’ve never hiked in this kind of area, so I was really taken by all the views and different terrain. It was really entertaining and we all loved it! It was a good day. Here is one of the views as we walked along the top edge of one of the Mesas. The trail is visible on the left hand side.

My energy level is still not what I’d like, but it’s improving. The day still felt really long, which is also a mental thing. I started a new audiobook called Wildwood that I’ve been excited to start. It is one of those children’s books that has gone mainstream and it is a fantasy that takes place in Portland. Specifically in the woods that I know as Forest Park (which has the Wildwood Trail running through it), but is called the “impassible wilderness” so far in the book. My feet have been hurting more with the rocky trail and I am stoked that I have a new pair with inserts waiting for me in town tomorrow! Today was the first day that fat ankle was out of the brace all day. She did great on some very varied trail too! There was a lot of steep ups and downs. She isn’t swollen right now, but there is a slight ache, so I’ll see how she is by the morning. I was prepared to have to deal with her all trail, but maybe she’ll actually be okay. Time will tell. Here is one of the steep ups.

We are camped about 14mi from our next town of Cuba and we all have reception which has rarely happens at camp so far on this hike. The most exciting part about this for me is that I have strong enough reception, and we finished early enough, that I get to finish an episode of The Office once I post this. It’s a town day tomorrow, so I can use up the battery and possibly watch two shows! I am 1/3 of the way through the Survivor finale and plan to finish it in town tomorrow, yay!

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