Daily mileage: 35
One last glance at my view from the day before and back down the trail went. A seasonal stream was a lovely unexpected treat and so the morning progressed.
Down and down I went, so many switchbacks. Past some rushing creeks and into a burn.
One creek had a pretty nice bridge, or at least it used to...
Wet feet were inevitable and then it was back to climbing. This morning was quite the roller coaster. Up and down and right back up again, so very many switchbacks to play on.
Nothing like getting distracted by water and finding yourself off trail. Pretty glacier ponds full of mosquitoes.
Okay lets face it, I was having a pretty ho hum day. It's not that the mountains weren't beautiful or the forest any less pretty than usual I just wasn't feeling it. Which is where the 35 mile plan came into play. From the beginning I've been told hike your own hike, and I know everyone is out here for different reasons and enjoys the hike in different ways. Some people seem stuck on the idea that doing bigger mile days detracts from your enjoyment of the trail. I think enjoyment of the trail is an incredibly individual thing and changes constantly. For me some of this adventure is the challenge, enjoying nature is definitely part of it but it would be a lie to say its 100% of the picture. This is a very long winded way of saying that sometime between 4 and 5 in the afternoon I decided I wanted to do 35 miles today and felt the need to justify it. For some 40's and 50's seem to be hiked with ease but I've never made over 34 and I like round sounding numbers so 35 seemed like a good goal. Plus it was 12 miles from where I was with a big climb thrown in so I would have to book it. And unlike the rest of my day I felt genuinely excited and took off down the trail. It was really too late for me to play this game but I had a great time. Hit the top of the climb in the dark, watched campfires across the ridge line and enjoyed myself. As I started to switchback down with my little flashlight I looked in vain for the campsite I knew should be appearing soon. Nothing but cliff edges and threatening clouds. As the mist started to seem like drizzle I knew I needed a spot that would fit my tent so on I went. Finally got to a creek where I completely lost the trail. Really there were about 4 side trails and it was just too dark for me to be sure I knew which one was right. So I stopped, set up my tent and let the rush of the creek lull me to sleep. Oh and when I checked my handy gps it turns out I was right where I was supposed to be, successful 35 miles done. That was satisfying, now I just get to worry about the "potentially dangerous ford" in 2 miles. Even my maps warn me it's nasty...
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