Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 7,808 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 26.1 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1,127.7 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 70s
Pain level- sore feet
Spirits/Morale- a little down
Days without shower- 3
Hit the trail at 6:45am, still feeling a little stiff. My legs were a bit heavy, but my head was in the game, mostly.
I stayed relentless all day, stopping for 10 mins to eat breakfast about 5 miles in, then again for half an hour around noon. I wasn’t hungry, so I used that half hour to catch a power nap.
I saw virtually no hikers. I was cruising all day, and had 17 miles by 2 pm. There were day hikers, Tahoe Rim hikers, and some southbound flip floppers, but I never passed a single northbound thru hiker.. it was very strange.
When I realized my feet were getting a little sore, I decided to tone it down a bit. I finished the 26 miles at around 5:30. With 3 and a half hours of daylight left, I could have easily gone over 30 miles today, however I decided to cut it a bit short, in order to make tomorrow morning a little easier to bear.
The day was spent mostly within pine forests, and walking along mountain lakes. I saw no interesting wildlife, and had nothing out of the ordinary happen.
I did have one sad moment. In the late morning, I ran across a Japanese couple that had flip flopped and began thru hiking south. They had met katana in the desert, and were very taken by her, even following her adventure online. When they asked where she was, I gave them the run down of me taking her to Florida, her Glaucoma diagnosis, sprinting through the High Sierra, getting her back, the Glaucoma flaring up, taking her home again, and her most likely having her eye removed. When I finished the story, the Japanese woman named “Tyedye” began to openly cry and sob, very obviously upset. “That is very sad to hear,” the man who’s name was “Tye” replied. He also looked genuinely upset. They were both so sincere, that it really caught me off guard. I could feel pressure building behind my eyes, as I felt my own tears welling. We spoke a couple minutes longer about what Katana’s future held, but I had to break it off before I lost my composure. I’ve had some interesting experiences in the woods, but having a good cry with a Japanese couple is one that I’ll put off for as long as I can.
Hiking without katana through the High Sierra had been different than this. Back then, I knew I was getting her back; this time I know that I’m not. My extra freedom without her is still nice, but I’d much rather her silly antics that cause me much grief and extra stress. Those sound negative, but I really do enjoy the extra challenges (even the negative ones) that she presented me on a daily basis.
I think tomorrow will be the day that I start pushing 30s. I’m going to set an alarm for 5am, but I’m not promising myself anything. The earlier the start, the easier it is to push a really big day without hiking late into the evening. Ideally, I’d like to get myself to the point where I can push 30 to 35 miles, with more than an hour of daylight to spare. The only way to get myself built up to that, is to do it, and do it as often as I can. It’ll hurt in the beginning, but my body will adapt quickly.
There is a saying that I often tell myself, and that I used to tell my personal training clients. “Push yourself until you feel you can go no further, then push a little more; next time, that feeling will come later.” If you’re going to get better, then you have to take yourself places you’ve never been, no matter how uncomfortable.