Miles today: 12.4

Trail miles: 498.2

Elevation: 5009

Spinning on the turntable: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: The best of everything

Today I hiked north and Noelle hiked south! Noelle went up the trail about 25 miles, left the van, and hiked south about 12 miles. I hiked north about 12 miles from where Noelle dropped me off and we met in the middle at a campground. Tomorrow we’ll hike north to the van.

I began with a nice uphill hike. The initial slope was a bit steep and it was quite warm. I keep meaning to buy a cheap thermometer to hang on my pack. I’m curious if my perception of warm and hot is broken.

I broke a sweat within moments of starting to hike.

The green flag icon represented a small cave. I think that hikers will take a break in the cave when it’s warranted.

This chubby boy doesn’t do caves that require crawling to enter, so you’re left with the external pictures of two different caves.

I did smile as I slowly soaked my shirt with sweat. At John/Donna’s I washed our clothes on the highest soil level, with the longest rinse time AND used two dryer sheets. (Why yes, I do live dangerously!) I could smell the sweet perfume of a clean shirt and it was divine while it lasted.

I really enjoy being able to look back at the trail and see where I came from earlier on the hike. It’s a doubled edged blade though; sometimes I can look ahead and see what’s coming and it’s rather discouraging.

Great views often equal…cell phone reception! Coming off four days of connectivity it wasn’t a big deal today.

I beat Noelle to camp so I tracked down the water cistern. The water was fresh and cold and I drank my fill after filtering it. It was quite the trek from the tent site to the water, perhaps a half mile up hill, so I filled my water bottle and water bladder in my backpack so that Noelle could skip the bonus hike.

I set the tent up and got myself situated while waiting for Noelle.

I must admit that the Zpack tent is so dang spacious compared to the body condom sized Nemo elite tent. It’s not a fair size comparison though since the Zpack is a three person tent and the Nemo is a one person tent.

Our camp tonight has numerous reports of bears looting the trash cans and snatching food from camp sites. We hung our food and toiletries in a bear bag after dinner.