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