Daily mileage: 24
I'll admit it, I noticed very little scenery today. I've talked with other hikers about how you are bound to have low points on this trail. I suppose some people just float through but on this big (and long) of an enterprise it seems inevitable to have bad times. I've also heard about the large number of thruhikers who quit in northern California. I never totally understood the drama of NorCal but I'm starting to get it. I feel like I should be at my strongest now but instead I feel like I'm falling apart. This week is turning into quite the low point. No thoughts of quitting but it sure does wear you down. So what's been so awful? Well it's a few things that all seem to feed into each other. When you don't eat enough for multiple days in a row your hiking speed isn't exactly up to par, and I mentally get into quite the funk. Being hungry but having all your food sound and taste awful pretty much sucks. I have never gotten tired of food at home and this has been quite a shock for me. Then there are my feet, well really my Achilles. They are both very sore and have been since I got my new shoes. Very disconcerting to have your body work against you after all these miles. Again, all not fun.
As far as the hike, the morning passed the Mcloud River, then winding up through the forest. Hot and muggy the trail drops down to a lovely seasonal creek where I just sat forever. Finally started hiking again after staring blankly at butterflies and made it to Squaw Creek. Another nice big bridge and it was back to climbing. Finally found the guys and collapsed on the trail pretty beat from the heat. More switchbacks after siesta and even more views of Shasta. Up and over the trail went, seeing Castle Crags getting closer and closer as the trail headed down ever so slowly and doing its best to take you completely across the mountain before letting you head down. Camped on the trail at the first water since some 11 miles earlier. Tomorrow we hit highway 5 and town, not sure which one we will hitch to but I'm sure it will be good.
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