We had a relaxing morning in camp and were on trail by 7:30. Captain Hook and Jailbreak were long gone even before we woke up but we needed the extra recovery time after yesterday. It took us a hot minute to figure out which way to go out of the campground, even with maps. PITA commented, “We need to add someone with navigational skills before we get to the Sierras”. So true.
We had 2 more miles of toad alternate, then we would be back on the PCT. This area was gorgeous, running along a beautiful river with waterfalls, all downhill, perfect. We found the junction with the PCT and were happy to be back on the official trail, hopefully past all the craziness for a while. Unfortunately, 0.3 miles in, we realize we went the wrong way at the junction and were hiking southbound. Seriously? At least the river was pretty.
When we got back to the trail junction, we realized that we had lost Splash. We figured she was ahead now (smarter than us, checked the map) and that we would catch up. The trail rolled gradually up and down along desert ridgelines all morning and we passed the 400 mile mark. That’s a lot of miles!!
We got to a small boy scout camp with a water spigot and stopped for lunch. We were joined by Downsize (formerly Mad Scientist/Gaelen) and Techno Gazelle, and met Horse Seducer and Patience. Patience hiked the Colorado Trail last summer and had met Gryllz there, so they hiked ahead together while the rest of us finished lunch.
I ended up hiking mostly alone after a series of uphills although the trail went mostly down. I am still so slow going uphill- I am beginning to wonder if my body will ever strengthen and adapt to this or if I am doomed to always be the slowest hill climber.
It was hot. I was really struggling. My headphones died so I couldn’t listen to music or podcasts. There were small flies whose sole purpose in life seemed to be to kamikaze into your eyeballs or open mouth as you huffed and puffed uphill. I was miserable and felt so alone, I just wanted to be done for the day.
I passed everyone at a small creek and knew if I stopped that I likely wouldn’t get moving again. I pushed on alone, finally reaching the 20 mile mark for the day and there was a big open campsite, plenty of room for everyone even though the group of German hikers that we met in Wrightwood was here already. I threw my pack down and just couldn’t go on. Gryllz came up and decided that he wanted to continue on for a few more miles. Patience came up and decided to stay here to camp. PITA decided to continue on as well. I was honestly crushed to be left behind AGAIN by people that I enjoyed hiking with.
I began dumping out my pack and setting up camp. Patience sat silently next to a log making dinner. I apologized for being crabby and antisocial and he was very kind and lived up to his trail name. Hopefully tomorrow I can catch up to the others, although I’m not sure that I want to if there’s a chance to get left behind again.
Trail magic: 0
Hiked with: mostly alone, PITA, Gryllz
Camped with: Patience, Eva & her group