Day 36 – IAT Mile 626.4 to 657.4

A coyote was trying to convince me it was a dog, casually striding down the trail and closer to me. I knew it wasn’t a dog.  I also knew it wanted to rip my flesh into pieces and have me for dinner.  The coyote’s muscles tensed as the beast lowered its head and leaped forward. My grip, already tight around the hilt of my side sword, pulled hard into a side slice that cut through flesh and bone without pause.

I didn’t know what the dream meant at the time, but as it turns out, coyotes in the dream world represent “tricky and unexpected elements in life.”  Today was full of tricky and unexpected elements.

My morning started out with a weather update text from Mel. Weather looked hot and clear of storms when we went to sleep last night.  By 0500, the maniacal weather people were predicting massive storms with high winds and a potential for tornadoes.  

With storms due to arrive by 5pm, I decided to sneak out to Dunkin’ and get Brianna a proper coffee and doughnut.  Fail.  Half a dozen cop cars surrounded the Dunkin’ building, the entrance fully coned off.  I’m not sure if the place had been robbed or if it was just vandalism, but the glass front door had been shattered into bits.

Today was HOT. We pushed through as many hiking miles as we could before the heat of the day was on us in full.  The heat punished us as we headed towards a planned lunch at the Subway in Baraboo.  

I was simultaneously too hot to eat and too hungry to keep walking.  My mind was bouncing back and forth between these two thoughts as I began walking the final  crosswalk that would lead us to the Subway parking lot.  That was precisely when an older gentleman driving a white SUV decided to do a no look left onto the street I was attempting to cross, he had no idea I was even there.  If I hadn’t seen it out of the corner of my eye and leaped back, I would have gotten hit very hard.  His SUV had fully passed the crosswalk by the time he hit the breaks and he only did so because I yelled, “Whoa!”  My brain was too fried to register any other response, I’m not even sure how I reacted quick enough to save myself.

Cold Gatorades and an air conditioned Subway helped to perk us back up for a bit, helped us recover from my near accident.  The thing about crushing heat indexes is that it only takes 5-10 minutes before you’re mentally defunct once again.  We walked as far as we could as often as we could but it wasn’t good enough; dark thunderous clouds were ahead of schedule and rolling in our direction.  2 miles away from camp for the night and the speed of slow is all we could muster.

Enter our newest trail angel, Ron.  Brianna had been on the phone for 15-20 minutes trying to sort out a ride when a black and white collie appeared out of nowhere, jumping into the nearby river and scattering geese like bowling pins into the water.  We were taking shelter in a large brick pavilion area when Ron asked if we needed a ride and agreed to drive us the final 2 off trail miles.  Thank you, Ron!!

A very interesting day.  What dreams may come?