Day #123 – CDT – Benchmark Wilderness Resort M2792.3 to Chinese Wall M2817.4

8/25/15 Day 123 – Benchmark Wilderness Resort M2792.3 to Chinese Wall M2817.4 , 7224′
Tent – Nights Spent Alone: 15
25.1, 2534.4 Trip Miles

Day’s of Snow: 9 – Day’s of Rain: 42 – Days of Hail: 19
7 am to 8:10 pm
# of Zero days: 12
Gila Crossings Final Total: 221
Tick Count: 4 (4 more crawling on me)

Wanted List

Mountain Goat
Grizzly Bear
Sasquatch
Black Bear – SPOTTED
Bighorn Sheep
Velociraptor
Mountain Lion
Beaver – SPOTTED 
Unicorn  
Wolf
Buffalo

Critter Count
24 Chipmunks
13 Squirrels
5 Deer
1 Cotton Tail

Totals
1) 618 Pronghorn*
2) 448 Elk*7
3) 388 Chipmunks *5
4) 201 Deer*2
5) 158 Squirrels *9
6) 154 Marmot*4 
7) 120 Lizards*6
8) 116 Wild Horses
9) 76 Ground Squirrels*10
10) 71 Pika
11) 57 Cotton Tail Rabbits *8
12) 30 Prairie Dogs
13) 22 Horny Toads
14) 18 Jack Rabbit*3
15) 14 Moose
16) 9 Snakes
17) 5 Coyotes
18) 5 Moles
19) 4 Black Bears
20) 4 Porcupine
21) 3 Toads
22) 2 Mouse
23) 2 Fox
24) 2 Rattle Snakes
25) 1 Beaver
26) 1 Badger
27) 1 Skunk
28) 1 Weasel -Long Tail
*259 from car, *2 – 49 from car – 3 in town, *3 – 1 from car, *4 – 2 from car, *5 – 2 off trail, *6 – 1 off trail, *7 – 9 from car, *8 – 3 off trail *9 – 1 from car, *10 – 6 off trail 
Last nights bed was so soft. Though I can’t tell if my back is sore from that or the five days of food I had to carry out today. Maybe it’s that fact I’ve slept on the ground almost every night for the last 122 nights and hiked over 2500 miles. 
We started late as we only had 25 miles to do. It was 1.25 miles back to the actual trail. Lott put the booties on Bailey and less than three miles in and they rubbed her toes raw to the point of them bleeding. We stopped at the South Fork Campground song could shit and Lott tended to her feet. We ended up using Gorilla Glue on the pads. It seem to work as the rest of the day she was fine. The soil was much nicer too. 
The hiking easy with a few smallish climbs. We saw three horse trains throughout the day. I think it’s a rule you have to have at least one dog with you at all times when horse packing. 
For about three miles of trail we saw huge grizzly prints in the dust. The rear pad was as big as my foot the front was at least twice the size of my fist. I really wanted to see the bear that made them but alas he wasn’t around for autographs. 
It was however the day of the Chipmunk. I saw a record high of 24. I think they will take the top spot from the elk by the end of the trip. (I will adjust the numbers to only show those critters seen on trail. When that happens the pronghorn drop to third). 
The highlight of the day was the Chinese Wall. I have been waiting to see this for a long time. I saw a picture years ago and was blown away. It lived up to the picture. The only draw back is there is a fire to our west and even now it’s pretty smoky. The smoke made some pictures look hazy. We are camp near the northern end tonight.
While finishing up from a crap I heard what I thought were a birds wings to my left. I quickly looked up to my left saw a tree branch move then something hit the ground just past me to my right. NO bird, NO projectile. I looked at the angle of the branch and area I heard the object hit and there is no doubt in my mind it was that of an arch like someone or some thing had thrown it. I believe Sasquatch didn’t like me shitting in his backyard. The noise the object made was like it had spin on it. How does something like a rock fall in an arch and have spin on it?
Tomorrow we have to take the Spotted Bear Alternate but we planned to anyways. We have to as the official CDT is closed due to fires. I’ve heard it’s a pretty alternate. 
Scatman

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