Miles today: 16.6

Trail miles: 603.9

Elevation: 7520

Spinning on the turntable: P!nk: Hurts 2B Human

Today I woke up at 5AM, ate breakfast, broke camp, and started hiking at 6:15. Seems like I should be a lot quicker by now!

Today was a long uphill grind. I knew it ahead of time so it wasn’t a shock. I needed to hike about 15 miles to make it to water. I loaded up my water bottles and bladder (which still tastes funky) yesterday at the water trough. I think it was (roughly) a 18 mile carry between water holes.

There are some hikes the past few weeks that are just tedious. Today was just long and uphill. I think I was hiking by 6:30. The heat of the day kicked in by about 10:30.

I was deep in thought about symbolism in nature when I nearly stepped on this sleeping (not really) fellow. After cleaning myself up I moved on quickly.

I stopped for lunch and dozed for about a half hour.

After lunch I hit the 600 mile mark.

The fanfare of 600 miles was tempered by the heat. I’m anxious to leave this heat behind. I’m sweating behind my knees!

I hit the waterhole around 2PM. I’m so grateful for fresh water. That’s one of the things I like the most about hiking. I’m focused on water, shelter, food. There’s not too much bandwidth some days to think about anything else. It’s relaxing in its own weird way.

For dinner I cold soaked lentils, peppers and spices. When it was time to eat I added a package of Velveeta cheese and then heated the entire concoction up in a freezer bag in boiling water. There’s no way I’m putting cheese into my cold soaking container!

It was different and I liked that, but it was super salty and I didn’t like that so much.

The mosquitoes were busy knocking at my tents door this evening so I again skipped socialized with fellow hikers and read my book.

Tomorrow promises to be another hot day, but I’ll see Noelle around mile 12. I’ll likely stop the days hike at that point and hang out with Noelle the rest of the day.

Here’s my recent favorite picture of Noelle about to eat her breakfast. I believe it was an eclair stuffed with whipped cream.