Daily mileage: 28
Woke up and hit the trail in no rush. A few miles in I hit my first water source. Supposedly a spring fed faucet. Only I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn the thing on. I tried going up to the spring but just got attacked by bushes. I must have been missing something but no water for me. That's okay there was supposed to be a river 1.5 miles farther. So right as I see the water I finish the last sip of what I was carrying. Only this river is from a spillway with some big white pipes, lots of foam and the water is super warm. Umm I am not drinking that, mud puddles sure, sewage treatment looking stuff I think not. So on I go. 1.8 miles later I wander off trail towards the Hyatt Lake campground where I find a working water fountain. Thing is when I get back to the trail less than 5 minutes away is a water faucet and fountain, on the silly trail. Oh well water and I are just having an interesting relationship right now.
And so the trail kept rolling on. Past a million dirt roads, lots of trees and what I think were two reservoirs. Yet again I decided to head off trail for water down to Klum Campground in case seasonal stuff wasn't flowing. I don't feel like risking 13 miles without water. Yup that felt farther off trail than I thought but it was nice to throw my trash away :) More time in the forest, crossing contaminated aqueducts and slowly (oh so slowly) climbing up out of the trees. Stopped at a beautiful spring and continued dragging.
Imagine my surprise when I heard a voice behind me as I nested the top of the climb. It was Wrong Way, turns out the day before when I passed highway 66 he and Joker had hitched back to Ashland for one more night and now here he was. So we hiked together down the mountain until dinner time at South Brown Mountain Shelter, a nice spot with a well and everything. Bo was there to and after dinner we all headed out for just a few more miles.
Camped by myself but near the others. Happy to be in bed.
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