20.3 miles hiked
So the plan for today was to get up and start hiking 5ish, pound out some miles to avoid the heat. I had a decent night’s sleep for once, not too much tossing and turning, and I DID basically get on trail around 5. But, holy slog. I was bonking before I started, which was a super bad sign, as I was hoping to do 26 maybe? I was in a canyon, it stayed dusky for a good long time, but I was doing maybe 1.5 miles an hour. Was I bonked from the uphill? It’s one of the usual suspects. I also was running out of food, which is why I wanted to get to town earlier rather than later.
I got a touch off trail on a couple of the 12ish stream crossings over a couple miles. Then the sun came out. Once I got past the streams and closer to the Lake Fire section, I hit some proper desert. I was like molasses. I just resigned myself to a day of 2mph at most, took frequent 2 minute water breaks, and told myself I would not break until the last of the stream crossings, after which there was no water on trail for 18 miles. I passed through some transitional zones with mega uphill slogs, lost of pioneering lupines there. The sky became a bit overcast and despite the uphill I start to speed up a little.
I arrived at the stream by noon, which made me really happy! The Aussie/Coloradan couple was there along with the other guy who passed me night hiking the other day, Dustin. We all laze about for a while, napping, soaking our feet in the stream. Oil has exploded all inside my food bag, shoot. I’m worried about running low on food, I want to do a big day. Maybe get to the couch on Onyx.
Buuuttt, I don’t leave until 3. A little slow at first but despite the sun I start to move a little. I meet my first SOBO, she’s a section hiker named Low and Slow, haha. Her Montbell umbrella broke, I recommend the Euroschirm I have which is doing well so far.
The couple passes me, they almost see me as I stopped to pee off the side of the trail. It gets higher in elevation, then suuuuper windy. I get to the Cook Creek Cabin, which is actually a whole group of cabins. No one is inside. I think about the next couple miles that are uphill, all the campsites I saw the last few hours were super windy, probably the next ones will be even worse? So I call it for the day a bit after 6, oh well. Tomorrow should be a lot easier with a good portion of downhill, hopefully I can get to town early despite another 20ish miles to do.