Today my book lied to me again. The day started well as I headed north to Jaffray where I stopped to mail my Journal entries and grab a quick snack on my way through town. I quickly found the TCT heading west along the railroad tracks. That is where the book failed me.
Instead of the gentle curve to the south suggested on the map, the trail plunged deeply to the south before heading west, and just slightly north. When it finally started heading north, it became the dustiest (sp?) road known to mankind. The dust was a fine powder at least 2 inches deep in the ruts and maybe 6 inches between them. Walking was like walking on sand. I felt like I was being pulled backward with each step. It was truly an awful experience.
Since the trail took me nearly 2 hours further than expected in the heat of the day, my water planning was not panning out so well. I did not see any streams or lakes past Jaffray and there were no people around to help either. As such, at the first house I saw, I stopped and asked for something to drink. I hate doing that, but it was starting to be a pressing concern. A very kind lady invited me in to drink and to chat. I nearly drained her pitcher of iced tea.
My distrust in my book cost me another hour when the unnamed road I was to take to Wapiti Lake was not marked with a trail sign. Instead I went around the lake before coming to it the sure way.
The lake itself is nice enough to look at but is no good for swimming and is difficult to fetch drinking water from. A poor reward for a hard day's efforts.
The worst part of today's mess is that I looked at the map in Jaffray and thought it might simply be easier to continue on highway 3. Had I done so, I probably would have saved 2-3 hours of walking. Ugh!
See you on the trail,