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Day 30

Day 30

Distance hiked today: 22 miles / 35.4 km.

One month on trail. It's blown by, but also feels like I've been here forever. While I write about a few of the interesting points of each day, it's worth noting that there is a LOT of walking happening in between.

I'm usually hiking for 12 hours a day or more, including breaks, from 6am until 5 or 6pm, or sometimes later. I wake up at 5am, pack my bag, and eat a cold soaked breakfast. Leave camp by 6am, walk 8 to 10 miles (3-4 hours), short break to sit and maybe get water. Walk another 5-6 miles (2-3 hours) until lunch, drinking water and snacking while walking. Stop for lunch in some shade around 1pm for anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the heat and my progress so far. Then I walk another 5 to 8 miles (2-4 hours) to a camp spot, set up camp, make dinner, and go to bed when it gets dark around 8pm. And the days will only get longer as I do bigger miles farther north. If I take more breaks or the elevation is steep, it takes longer to get to camp and I sometimes arrive just before sunset.

And that's it… it's basically constant walking, stopping only for a few seconds to take photos. In between the smiles there's a lot of foot and muscle pain, heat and sweat, blisters, and exhaustion. By the end of the day it's a battle with you mind, counting down how far is left to walk while trying not to think about it so the time passes faster, but the last mile is always the longest.

During the day I mostly hike alone. Hikers are like an accordion, going at their own pace, and spreading out along the trail. You can go hours without seeing anyone because everyone is moving in the same direction, until someone stops at a water source, shade, or tent site, and then there might be small groups of people that congregate.

At night my legs ache. It feels like I need to stretch but stretching doesn't make it go away.

Today I did 17 miles before lunch. I passed the 400 mile mark, and hopped from one water source to the next to carry as little as I could. I camped in a lumpy spot behind a big bush to avoid as much wind as I could on the ridge.

Total trail mileage: 415.1 miles / 667.9 km

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