Sunday, May 29, 2016

Day 27- A Tedious Day

May 29, 2016
Tentsite(411.8) to North Fork Ranger Station(436.1) 24.3 Miles

Today I'm going to try something new, I'm not going to go into much detail about my day. Honestly is was pretty boring. I'm going to discuss some of the things I was thinking about. 

I was up and out of camp by 5:45. The other hikers were all impressed by how quickly I break down and head out. I was treated to another great sunrise. 
View from my tent at 5:15 am

The view from the ridgeline was also spectacular. The day started off so well that I honestly was surprised when it went to shit. 
Panoramic from the ridge

I made it to my first water source by 7:45. I was greeted by several other hikers and offered a beer. If there is one thing I have learned after hiking over 2,600 miles is that you never turn down a beer. I usually don't drink IPA's, but I gulped one down this morning. When I finally got back on trail at 8:45 I had a slight buzz. 
Hiker trash getting drunk at 8 am

I was immediately greeted by a steep climb through heavy sand. Imagine walking on the beach, but uphill. It wasn't very much fun. The next seventeen miles were grueling. There was poodle dog bush everywhere. The trail was also very overgrown so it was hard to see. I think I managed to avoid it all, but I guess I'll find out in a few days. It was also incredibly hot today and there was no water for seventeen miles. Watching for poodle dog bush and rattlesnakes through dense brush made for a very tedious long day. 
Dense brush
Poodle dog bush(PDB) everywhere 
Great views 

I hiked my 24 miles and got into camp before five o'clock. Doing back to back 24 mile days was tough. I'm pretty exhausted. Usually when I hike I am able to zone out and let my mind wander, but I couldn't do that today. As a result the day went by really slowly. One of my favorite things about thru-hiking is hiking alone and letting my mind wander. Out here we have very few distractions. It is easy to remain in the moment. Without tv, internet, and social media the world slows down and becomes very large. Walking 24 miles takes all day to accomplish. My mind goes to amazing and sometimes weird places. People in cars can cover the same distance in twenty minutes, but they barely have time to contemplate what to buy at the grocery store. In a typical day I see more beauty than some people see in their whole lives. I meet new and interesting people daily. People who work the typical 9-5 can go years without meeting as many people as I do in one day. When I was in Wrightwood a few days ago somebody asked me why I thru hike. I didn't have a very good answer, but I have had 67 miles to think about it. I am lucky enough to be in a position where nobody can tell me what to do or how to do it. What dictates my day is water, food, and shelter. I am surrounded by beauty and amazing sights all day. I meet fascinating people who are all like minded. They range from young to old, skinny to fat, different religions and ethnicities, from around the entire world. I feel like I am living life the way it is meant to be lived. Somewhere along the way modern man forgot what it is like to be so closely in touch with nature. I think in doing so we lost a little bit of our humanity. 

Life is either a great adventure or nothing
- Helen Keller


  1. Well said - thanks taking the rest of us along!

  2. I love that you are doing what you love and that you are doing it well!

  3. I'm happy you are on a learning expedition. Great sunrise, again. LY

  4. Still loving the views, still super impressed eith your early departure times!

  5. Best sunrise picture so far. Breathtaking! I wish more people could realize how important it is to just be quiet and think about life. There's too much racket and distraction these days. I go crazy if I can't carve out some time each day to listen to real world sounds like birds singing, dogs barking, roosters crowing, crickets. I call it natures music. How blessed you are to be able to experience that all day, everyday in new places. You said it, life the way it was meant to be lived. God speed.

  6. Sunset is stunning and should end up on a wall somewhere! Comments are spot on - you are living your dream and I'm sure happy you're taking us along!

  7. Once again, your pics are amazing! I especially liked your reflections about your hike. You have an eye with the camera, and a gift with writing that makes us feel like we are right there with you(I even got a slight headache reading about the 8 AM beer). I don't know what your background is, but it should be writing, and photography. I always think your pics would be perfect for a hikers would be hard to just pick 12 though.
    Day 27 on the AT was shoes from hell day....better shoes this year?
    Stay safe and healthy out there, and enjoy every minute!
    Kathy in NH

  8. The ridge and the sunset pictures were fantastic
    Great reflections and thoughts. It is amazing what we are reminded of as we hike and take the time to feel the blessing of our surroundings and the journey!