Steve prepared a breakfast burrito for me the size of a football, then he and O.K. dropped off a fat and happy Alastair at the Nugget. I conquered the wide bodied Taylor Reservoir an hour later. A release valve fires water into the renewed Taylor River in a manner reminiscent of Bull Connor in Birmingham, albeit in a less racist fashion.
The river winds down a narrow canyon, the white water and high walls above bringing to mind the Green River, which I regularly tube when home in Carolina.
Fly fisherman stood knee deep in the water. Whether in pairs or alone they all shared one thing in common - failure. During my observation not a fish was caught, confirming the sport's reputation as both difficult and insanely boring. Maybe if they had been drinking beer I could have understood the allure.
Ten miles down the road I ran into an impassable obstruction, construction junction. Serious repairs were being done on seven miles of Taylor River Road and the foreman would not allow me to travel through on foot. I was forced to take a ride and skip a section for the first time since the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I hitched with Randy and his son, who claimed to be "killing it" on the fly fishing front. I gathered they had caught a trout earlier in the week.
My sudden transport to lands beyond threw a wrench in the plan for day's end. At three I had already reached the campground I had previously chosen for the finish line. I wasn't ready to stop so soon.
Carrying on to Jack's Cabin Cutoff, I considered bivouacking along the road somewhere. Not so fast - there were no woods in which to seclude myself and signs warned of cattle using the grass for pasture. The land was state park owned so camping was permissible, but would I end up on the wrong side of a bull's horn if I chanced an overnight here?
On I went, finding 135 and doing five more miles to Cement Creek Road. There was a campground an hour's walk down CCR which seemed the best option.
I stopped at Ruben's Mexican on the way. The gringo waitress clearly could not understand my perfect Spanglish and I ended up with a vegetarian chimichanga. At least it was deep-fried so the Vegas odds on my heart attack remain unchanged.
I left Ruben's in the glow of sunset and headed towards a home for the evening. On the way I met Judy, who as part of her job teaches Wounded Warriors to ski again. She showed me a good safe away from the petty monetary needs of the state facility.
I struggled to sleep. The big toe on my right foot is throbbing, the week long problem in worsening.
19 miles/2753 total miles