Our packs now heavily laden with our renewed water supply, and blissfully confident that Gatorade mix would cut the taste of the ass water, we continued our climb up the canyon. (In time we would come to realize that the Gatorade and ass water would taste like, well, Gatorade and ass water, but for the moment ignorance was bliss.) The climb was long, but we made it to a juniper and pinyon pine-covered plateau.
This gave way to open sheets of Mesa Verde sandstone scoured by a ferocious wind. The sheets dropped off into Coal Canyon, our destination for the afternoon. The trail was steep, exposed, and difficult to follow. More than once we had to retrace our footsteps away from a crumbling pathway back to something that more closely resembled a trail.
The bottom of the canyon was filled with rolling hills, weird hoodoos, and outcroppings of coal. When we finally finished weaving our way to the bottom of the canyon, we were exhausted and ready to camp.