Miles today: 15.3

Trail miles: 357.2

Elevation: 6467

Spinning on the turntable: DMB: Away from the world

A very long day of hiking and elevation gain. Gaining 3500 feet over 15 miles hurts my body. I ache tonight.

I carried five liters of water to start, and then picked up another liter when Noelle turned back to return to the hotel. I usually carry two or three liters (4.4 to 6.6 lbs). I felt every ounce of the six liters. My back feels fine but my ankles are barking!

Months before we started our trip we discussed what we would do if one of us was injured and holed up in a hotel recuperating. We agreed that the uninjured party would hike on and we’d reunite down the trail.

Roughly four miles into our hike today we put that plan into action. Noelle returned to the hotel and I carried on. It was a difficult day without Noelle. If Noelle bails on the trail I think I’ll continue on my own for a week or two, but I can’t imagine doing this for another four or five months on my own. I’m sure I could do it, but I’m not sure that I would want to do it. What’s the point in taking time out of our everyday lives to spend together if we spend the time apart? Riddle me that! In any case, we each made a vow not to get killed today, knowing that our children would execute the sole survivor.

Tomorrow I’ll have an elevation gain of 2000 feet and plan to knock out roughly 12 miles. I’ll meet up with Noelle in yet another trail town, Wrightwood. Wrightwood is rumored to be the friendliest town on the trail.