This section of trail kicked my butt. Hardest day on the trail—I do not think I have ever had to work so hard for 18 miles in my life!
Last night was cold—everything (including my soaking wet socks & shoes) was covered in frost when I got up. It was hard to get out of my warm sleeping bag—if I had known what was ahead, I may not have!
The morning was spent pathfinding, searching for rock cairns indicating the direction of the trail —there was no actual trail (the one time I got excited thinking I found the trail, I followed a path 200 yds in the wrong direction). I didn’t dare go more than a few yards without breaking out my Guthook application to make sure I was at least headed in the general direction of where the trail was supposed to be. This made for excruciatingly slow going, which also made it hard to get warm.
An added bonus was crossing the creek in ankle-to-knee-deep water a few dozen times. Sometimes I would have to wade across 3-4 times in less than a mile. The water was moving fast, so I know it was above 32 degrees, but not by much! By the first mile my feet were achy & numb, and I was tripping over the rocky “trail.”
Finally after lunch, when I came out of the worst of the burn area, the trail became reliably visible. But it was extremely rocky and/or muddy—again slow going.
Around 2:00 the trail went steeply up and FINALLY became walkable. I sure had to work for them, but this afternoon’s views were jaw-dropping. Once again, my camera skills cannot do justice to the landscape. The last hour and a half of trail was pleasantly walkable & I have (mostly) forgiven the hellish hours of yesterday evening & this morning.
After some lasagna, an almond joy & some time listening to relaxing night sounds, I think I’m ready to tackle day 24.
Daily Miles: 18.2n
Total Miles: 342.9