1. LLAMAS WITH HEAT STROKE
July 5th Richardson summit send off is with family and friends in extraordinary heat. Our pace is slow, gets slower as the temperature rise, getting hotter and hotter despite our altitude gain en route to the top of Camp Creek in the southern Smokey Range Two of our llamas, McShane and Milton overheated after only 90 minutes, forcing us to stop for 3 hours in the only shady spot next to water. Their human companions (Bob, Dennis Duenas and I) were not faring much better. Llama suffering, human suffering and it's only day one with 80 days more of our 500 miles through 6 mountain ranges.
2. WATER, FINALLY
After two days on the ridges, we hit the trees, water and riparian area on Curran Creek. It's still hot, but there's water.
3. THE BIG BOYS
Six beautiful male llamas from Wilderness Ridge Llama Outfitters and their trainer Dennis Duenas from Bozeman accompany us from Richardson Summit. Dennis is taking all six across Castle Creek.
Llamas, as we are learning, have very distinct personalities.
10. DENNIS DUENAS
He takes all six across challenging stream crossings and is teaching us so much! Wish he wasn't leaving after 10 days! We in turn share our knowledge of our home country mountains, the recent fires, the burn vegetation, and the trails.
11. BOB AND SARAH
Only one broken trekking pole but my boots are still wearing well after being broken in on a 60 day hike across the Himalayas in 2008.