Miles today: 25.7
Trail miles sum: 950.4
Trail location: 1625.5
Spinning on the turntable: Waren Zevon: The wind
This day was guaranteed to be a long hike right out of the gate. I want to bump up my daily miles and the only way to do that is to hike longer.
Noelle joined me for the first six miles of the hike and then headed back to the van. I’m grateful when she joins me and sad when she returns to the van. I can tell the backpacking is hurting her shoulder though.
There are moments today when I curse whomever designed this section of trail. Up and down, up and down.
There are moments of real pleasure and enjoyment intermingled with moments of stinging sweat in the eyeballs.
The deer are here and there around the trail. I wonder if they prefer the soft dirt for the trail instead of the rocks? Do they care?
I was swapping Garmin messages with one of our daughters today. Garmin messaging works, but it’s challenging. 160 characters per message. Message delivery depends on when the satellite flys by overhead. The message may deliver in moments and it may deliver in an hour or two.
I look forward to face to face communication when we see each other soon.
Trying to communicate on meaningful subjects with a Garmin is like trying to write substantive blog posts with an iPhone while laying on my back in the tent. Yes, it’s kind of, sort of, communication, but it’s not the ease of communication that I’m accustomed to enjoying.
The horse poop is gone and the trails are again littered with fallen trees. The trees are frequent enough to be an annoyance to my attempts at finding a smooth walking rhythm.
Trying to find the elusive walking rhythm is important to me. When I can find it, and occasionally I do, I can walk effortlessly for hours. I’m trying to incorporate breath meditation when I’m able. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t.
I made it into camp around 7:30 and set up camp. I politely chatted with a family next to me for a moment or two and then withdrew to my own solitude. I’m not good company when I’m this tired. I may not be good company when I not tired either.
In another long ago life I worked 12 hour shifts. On work days it was work, sleep, eat, repeat. There are incredible similarities between that and thru-hiking. I’m trying to maintain some sort of daily balance, not too much hiking and not too little.
I want/need to have a little bit of time each day to relax and not hike and to read or chat with other hikers. This recharges my emotional batteries. So I’m trying to keep the total hours hiked per day to twelve or less. Today was closer to fourteen hours hiked.
I’m really tired, but not exhausted. This has been my biggest mileage day yet. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.