As usual, I didn’t feel like I got any sleep last night. It was surprisingly cold and I just cannot sleep if I’m not warm enough. I heard some of the others moving this morning and figured I should probably get up too. I ate my cold-soaked Rocky Road steel-cut oats (with sprinkles! and soy milk powder, vegan marshmallows and chocolate chips and cocoa powder) while cocooned in my sleeping bag. By the time I was packed up, the group was on their way out. I filtered some water and was on my way as well, leaving Dad Jokes to finish his breakfast and pack up on his own.
Immediately when I got back to the trail, there was a section hiker standing alongside it. We chatted briefly and I was on my way. Shortly after, a day hiker passed in the opposite direction, asking me “Are you soloing by yourself? Wow, I really admire that.” So many of us are out here “by ourselves”, some more alone than others. I know the women get a lot of questioning about doing this on their own- I wonder if the men do as well.
Soon a trail runner passed me, then another day hiker, and another. “There’s a lot of you out here today, ” from one, “all going the same direction.” Why yes, we are all going to Canada. I have to stop sometimes and remind myself that not everyone knows about this trail or the thru-hiking community that thrives on it, even if they hike on it as well. We thru-hikers are not the only ones who use this trail and are certainly no better than anyone else who uses it. I wonder what some of these people think when they come upon trail magic or a water cache or a mile marker made of stones. It still surprises me that people can live by the trail and not know anything about it. Monkey, one of the guys in last night’s group, said his Uber driver to Campo actually laughed at him and didn’t believe that he planned to walk to Canada, despite the backpack and enthusiasm.
I continued to encounter day hiker after day hiker and was confused until realizing that it was Saturday and we had beautiful weather. Later I also realized that it is Memorial Day weekend- of COURSE everyone is outside. My body felt pretty good and I felt like I was cruising through the miles despite the crazy ever-changing terrain.
I stopped for lunch and to rest, but that was a bad idea. When I got up again, suddenly my feet and ankles hurt again like last night, my knee was angry and I was quite chilly. Nothing to do but keep moving, albeit slower than before. I eventually was cruising along again, glad that almost all of today’s trail is downhill. I made it to the place where I planned to camp around 4pm. I chatted with a hiker named Deluxe who was filtering water. He is from Aspen, Colorado and is talkative and energetic. It was nice to talk to someone like that after spending the entire day alone in my head. He had a snack while we chatted- three hot dogs boiled in his JetBoil, topped with Taco Bell Fire sauce, eaten with dirty fingers and no bun. Ahh, hiker food.
Deluxe continued on to the next campsite and I set up here. Gunshots and ATV engines echoed through the mountains as people recreated in their own ways. While I was setting up, the six from last night showed up. I don’t know when I passed them but apparently I did! They set up a short distance away and though I’m sure they would have welcomed me for dinner, I chose to be antisocial and eat alone. I am now almost fully caught up with my journaling- we’ll see how long that lasts!
I hope it is warmer tonight- I need a good night’s sleep!!
Trail magic: 0
Hiked with: no one
Camped with: Monkey, Logi, Kim, Future Problems, Fortune Cookie