Miles today: 20.3

Trail miles: 485.8

Elevation: 3067

Spinning on the turntable: The Cranberries: In the End

Yesterday it was raining cats and dogs so I opted to sit it out in the van and not hike. We had a big lunch at a salad buffet and then hung out at Starbucks while charging our assortment of devices.

I had planned on a 12 mile hike yesterday and then a 8 mile hike today followed by nero at our friends house tonight. Instead I opted to jam both days into one day, not because I had to, but more to see if I could.

I started the morning at the roadside on the left and hit the first summit of the day about two hours later. I passed many hikers that were emerging from very wet tents. Some were spreading their tents, rain fly, sleeping bags and assorted items out to dry. I felt a little better about the decision to not hike yesterday.

I listened to the final Cranberries album on the first part of the hike this morning. I loved the Cranberries in the 90’s. I had just gotten rid of my “Wake up and smell the coffee” coffee cup when Delores died last January. Overall it was a pretty mellow album. I’m glad for the music that she gave us.

I really enjoyed looking at the shrubs, bushes and plant life across the valley. I’m not sure when the fire came through here, but most of these plants were less than a few feet tall. The mixture of colors was splendid!

Knowing that I wanted higher miles today I actively worked to keep my pace higher than most days. In the morning I averaged 3.25mph over 13 miles.

I pushed to arrive at the fabled wooden bridge for the morning break.

I was underwhelmed. I pushed on to find somewhere else for my morning break. How this dilapidated bundle of sticks warrants a special Guthook icon and Vasquez rocks has no mention is crazy.

After lunch I had about a 1000 ft elevation gain over roughly two miles followed by five miles of easy downhill.

More Poodle dog bush to avoid today. I stuck with my long pants over my shorts. I really enjoyed a narrow ledge with Poodle dog bush against the rock face and a twenty foot drop on the opposite side. No choice except to move through cautiously.

Later in the after I was passed by a hiker that I’ve nicknamed the Colonel and his band of Private’s. I’ve seen them several times this past week. The Colonel, walking in the lead, seems to set the pace. He’s hiking in a half walk and half trot. The Private’s, four or five in troop size, walk and/or trot behind him. To me they look like baby ducks, minus the cuteness, following their momma. Everyone looks so pained that I just want to laugh. Relax! Have a home brew!

Wrapped up the day with Noelle who had hiked two miles up trail to walk back with me.