Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 87, Solo it is

Daily mileage: 25

Woke up, was handed an apple, banana, and an orange and hit the trail. It actually felt good to be walking. I was in a strange mood, alternating from happy to slightly panicked. Change is scary, and I'm still not 100% about my new solo status. But the trail was gorgeous. Pink sky, no haze and mountains everywhere.

Climbing up through the forest and along the edges of cliffs was a great start to my morning. Little seasonal creeks everywhere and so many new views as I got closer to the Marble Mountains. Plus I kept running into people. It was fun to stop and chat, and strange not to worry for even a second if I didn't want to stop because it would slow me down too much.

My pace is still crazy slow and I stopped and took millions of breaks. Nothing like nap-time on the trail. And so the miles slowly passed, contouring around and slowly climbing up towards something only to drop you back a bit and contour some more. I spent most of the day debating whether or not I want to take tomorrow off and head to Etna. I actually feel great, but my food bag is incredibly unappetizing and I really want to spend a day doing actually nothing. Around 4 I thought to actually look at my maps and supposed schedule. Well shoot, it turns out if I take a day off I probably won't get to Seied Valley in time to pick up my package and I'll get to Ashland on Saturday. Which doesn't work because part of the reason for going to Ashland was to make resupply boxes for the rest of Oregon. Hmmm so conflicted, so now I'm going to play it by ear and just see how I feel.
Officially entered the Marble Mountain Wilderness and god is it gorgeous. Rocky contours on a cliffside as the sun sets, yes please. Even ran into some more section hikers who I actually know, that was a first today. No PCT bubble in this section.

Finally called it a day and made camp. My first time really and truly solo on the PCT. Maybe Etna tomorrow or not, still undecided.

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