Elevation- 2,959 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 14.3 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1,557.7 miles
Weather/Temp- cloudy, rain, 80s 70s
Injuries- sore knees
Pain level- moderate
Days without shower- 3
I was up till 2 am last night with throbbing knees and feet, but I felt normal this morning. Still, I didn’t start hiking till 8 am. For some reason, I felt different today; like I’d reached a new level of confidence in myself. The number of hikers in the “40 mile bracket” is a very small one. It’s hard to describe how I feel now, but I guess if I had to, I’d say I feel a certain amount of calm. A calm deriving from the confidence of knowing that I’m now capable of something that I previously did not know that I was. I now know that I can hike anything between 0 and 41 miles if I truly wanted to. Physically, I’ve probably always had the potential to do it, but now the mental barrier is down…and it feels really, really, good. To be honest, I want more. I’m looking forward to another 24 hour hiking attempt when my birthday rolls around on the 24th of this month.
I did a leisurely 14ish miles to a remote hwy 3 by 1 pm, and caught a ride into the town of Etna, if only to check it out.
On the hike to the road, I came across yet another Rattlesnake on the side of the trail. This one was very big. I took a video of him, and spooked him back under a rock before continuing on. Rattlesnake 12 for the journey.
Etna was a very small, very old town; I really liked it. Very quiet, everything centralized, nothing commercialized, not busy. My kind of place.
After getting some more snacks at the Ray’s Supermarket, I spent the rest of the afternoon at a local restaurant called Bob’s Ranch house where I had the best jalapeño poppers of my life. I can’t wait to go back home and blow everyone’s mind when I duplicate the style they made them in.
In the late afternoon, for the first time on this journey (while not at high altitude) a thunderstorm rolled in bringing heavy rains and intense lightning. It lasted several hours, most of which I spent taking cover in a laundromat with a couple other hikers. I went ahead and did my laundry, but the clothes went back on a dirty body.
I’m camped out next to an RV park, looking forward to making some miles tomorrow. This was a nice stopover. My plan is still to make it the 150 miles to the next town of “Seiad” within the 5 day goal. We’ll see…