April 1, 2021
I was up at 4:15am. One of the lines on my tent broke. Not sure how. Maybe it got chewed by a critter? I’ll have to fix it later. At least my tent didn’t fall down in the night. It’s just one corner so not detrimental, and I have my bear bag hanging kit, so I have extra ultralight paracord in case I need to replace the line. We’ll see.
I could hear coyotes howling in the wee hours of the morning very close to our camp. Kind of cool and also kind of scary.
Ghosthiker left camp before I did, so I listened to music during the first 5 miles of the day and it was great. I just kept moving at cruising speed and caught up to Ghosthiker right at the first water source of the day. We only sat for about 15 minutes and Ghosthiker was ready to go, so I told her to go on ahead. I was still putting my shoes on and had to pee. We’re hiking up to 6500’ elevation today, so I wanted to make sure I was rested for it.
After that break is when the pain started. The trail wasn’t particularly difficult other than a lot of climbing. Since there wasn’t much scree, it was actually quite nice. But my pinky toe and my heels have new blisters that started getting really painful, and the muscles in my right foot started burning shortly after that last sit-down break.
So, that made the rest of the day kind of awful and I didn’t take a lot of photos. I tried to doctor things at the next water source, and it helped a little but not much. I don’t usually lance blisters until the end of the day when I can let me feet air out all night afterwards, but they were getting pretty big. Ghosthiker even gave me some of her sterile alcohol wipes since I was almost out.
Again, I let Ghosthiker go ahead of me while I collected water and quickly changed panties because once I’ve worn a pair for a few days they get stretched out and start to give me wedgies. Like I need that annoyance on top of foot pain. No thanks.
We ran into Hammer and The Beast today, the two really skinny teenage girls hiking the trail who we first saw in Patagonia. They hiked the Long Trail, so even though they seem really young they definitely have some decent hiking experience.
On a brighter note, we passed the halfway point today. Woot!! There was nothing marking the spot, but I took a screenshot of the Guthooks map anyway. It felt very good to pass the halfway mark.
We only did 19.1 miles today. We’d planned to do about 23 but my feet slowed us down a lot. I tried my best not to be angry about it, but I didn’t really succeed. When Ghosthiker was far enough away, I swore a lot. I even cried a few times. Just kind of done with this day.
I mean, if I’m being totally honest, I’m not enjoying this hike most of the time. There are moments when I am, but I basically live for town days. This hike is so much more taxing than the PCT. I don’t think I could even admit that to myself if Ghosthiker didn’t say it every so often. Ghosthiker, who is endlessly positive and upbeat all the time, talking openly about how much this trail sucks. I think there’s a reason other aspects of this hike keep working out well for us. If not for those times, I don’t know where I’d be mentally. Thank God this trail is only 800 miles. I just don’t want to be a quitter.
I used some of the water I carried to wash my feet, then doctored them up so hopefully they’ll be a little better tomorrow. I ate dinner and an appetizer, ate a “special” gummy (those have been my saving grace on this stretch of the trail. Thanks, Cameron!), an osteopath-biflex pm tablet, and a Benadryl, and am going to bed.
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