Awesome day! After yesterday’s slog I was a bit worried I had bitten off more than I could chew, but today was a bit easier, and much more fun. We made it about a mile past the end of Passage 2—nearly 22miles—without pushing too hard … a big confidence boost!
Some stout climbs and a couple tricky descents, but nothing like yesterday’s treachery. Lots of pretty forest land and streams in addition to more spectacular views. I am loving the terrain and scenery in this part of the state—the rolling grasslands and mountains are very different from what I expected.
The morning started a little slow (it’s hard for me to step out of my cozy bag into the cold morning air), but we got on the trail about an hour after sunrise and had nice, easy trail most of the morning. I saw a coati (or coatimundi) right off the bat, but he saw me at about the same time & I wasn’t able to get a picture.
We spent a lot of the morning following streams. I think the forest service must have had a contest going to see how many times they could make the trail cross the same stream — we got pretty good at rock hopping, and managed to keep our feet dry. I have a feeling I’m going to miss those streams in a few days when I hit the desert areas!
Parker schlepped a lightweight chair in his pack, and finally got to use it at lunch today (see pic). I’m not ready to lug a 1# piece of gear over the trail yet, but I have to say—I was envious of his plush accommodations while I made due w/a piece of foam and a rock!
The only real bummer for today was that when we got to the trail head at the end of Passage 2, we discovered that someone ahead of us drank about half our water cache (it was very clearly marked). This makes me angry for 2 reasons: it’s a big foul to drink someone else’s water—one of the trail rules that lets us all enjoy the trail … and now I’m going to be even more freaked about having enough water … the point of caching water was so that I could be assured of having a minimum amount & not have carry too much “ just in case.”
The good news is that water has been abundant so far with nearly all of the “seasonal” sources flowing freely. We had plenty of water for the evening & to get us going tomorrow.