Distance hiked today: 22.7 miles / 36.5 km plus 3 or 4 off-trail miles.
Normally I wake up around 5 or 5:30 and hike by 6 or 6:30am. Although it's uncomfortable to be cold in the tent while packing up, the morning miles come easier in the cool air. If I can get almost 15 miles in by lunch then the shorter afternoon miles aren't so bad. By then my feet are sore, and when it gets hot everything gets harder and creates more blisters.
Today we really pushed it, doing 17 miles by 2pm before lunch. There is a malt shop not far off trail there, and we decided to visit it. My feet and legs were sore after a marathon morning but we quickly gathered our things, left our packs under a tree, and started walking. The road is closed for a mile from the trail, then we walked at least another mile down the road with no traffic to hitch until a lady sitting on her porch called out asking if we needed a ride - Katie. She kindly drove us the last couple of miles to the malt shop.
We had burgers, and some people had milkshakes and root beer floats. Then Katie came back to get us and drove us all the way back to the road closure, picking up two more hikers on the way who sat in the trunk with the door open. Then the mile walk back to the trail, and 5 more miles to a camp spot where we cowboy camped and I made my dinner while laying in my sleeping bag. My longest day so far, even before the off-trail miles.
And we passed the 300 mile mark!
Total trail mileage: 303.9 miles / 489 km