Location- Side of mountain
Elevation- 5,591 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 20 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 2,526.3 miles
Weather/Temp- Clear 70s 60s
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 4
Woke up to a gorgeously dry morning next to the creek and wasted no time getting down to business. In order to get our 20 mile quota in today, we were going to end up climbing over 7,000 feet, collectively, throughout the day. Most of that elevation was distributed between three climbs; an 1,800 footer, 1,000 footer, and a 2,600 footer, plus lots of little stuff in between that you hardly notice.
The trail itself was a dream; almost no rocks. Even though the trail was fantastic, we hit a new level of switchback hell. Never in my life have I seen so many switchbacks. Sure they make the climb gradual and easy, but the extra miles they add on drive me crazy. I personally prefer to hit the climbs in the most direct way possible. Yeah it hurts and burns more, but you get it over with quicker, push yourself harder, and have a greater sense of accomplishment when you reach the top; like you earned the climb instead of simply having it given to you.
I enjoyed all the long climbs, despite the monotony of the switchbacks. Not as many open views as there have been, but that allowed me to drift in thought more within the green tunnel.
The continued beautiful weather has improved my spirits considerably. I felt motivated and not the least bit homesick, just happy to be here.
Against my usual judgement, I opted to camp at a fairly high altitude near the top of a climb, simply because that’s where my 20 mile day dumped me. With the weather so nice, I’m going to chance the higher elevations. I’ll probably wake up in a cloud tomorrow morning, but I’m used to that at this point.
The shoes are still doing their job…