Day 41: Deja Vu

Day 41 (Saturday, May 28): mile 569.41 to mile 592.95, 23.54 miles. (up/down: +4547/-3855ft)

The wind was blowing hard all night. Every few minutes the wind would catch my sleeping sleeping bag and blow it up/off. This has officially been the worst night sleep on the trail yet. I think I maybe got one hour of sleep. I still don’t know how I am managing to function with such little sleep and covering so many miles. As frustrating as it is, it is at least nice to rest the body/lay down for a few hours every night and I saw a nice sunrise.

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I get my best/sometimes only sleep right when I go to bed and right before I have to get up in the morning. I could “easily” get up and start walking at 3 a but then I’d miss my potential 1 hour of sleep from 4:30-5:30. So I finally knew there was no chance I was getting more sleep and I had a decent climb today, I got up and ready, hitting trail at 6:50a.

It was a very slow start. Days after being in town are usually hard, but today my body was fighting me. My feet started doing that numb/tingly thing again. I was going slow….Very, very slow and stopping every switchback or less to try and get some normal sensation back in my feet.

I finally made it to the first top, which was just a couple miles in, where I took a break with a couple other hikers for second breakfast and cookies. I then passed on and passed Smiles and a small water cache. I chatted for a minute and kept going. I already had enough water and didn’t want to lose too much momentum.

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The trail was mostly down hill, with a few small climbs all the way to the next water source. Yet again, I walked through another windfarm. I swear these things never end! Along the way, I also ran into a big gopher snake who didn’t want to move. Thankfully, I was on a wide dirt road and could just walk around him.

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Between about mile 575 & right before the spring (583), I didn’t see a single person. I have been walking solo for pretty much the whole trail, which is an incredible experience, and much different then walking with others…but man, I wish I had some company sometimes.

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Just before 1 p I ran into Woodchuck again just as we pulled into the Golden Oaks Spring, a lovely green algae and muck filled horse trough. Thankfully there is a small pipe that feeds clean water into the trough. There were also many other hikers (most if not all, I’ve seen before) taking their afternoon lunch and siesta break.

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Golden Oaks Spring

During my two hour lunch break, I again took no nap, and pondered how far to go the rest of the afternoon. I figured a couple more hours would get me 5-7 miles further which would mean a nice 20 mile day. I walked along ANOTHER EFFIN WIND FARM & I saw some nice sites just a few miles in, but it was only 4:30 and way too early to stop. I ran into another snake on trail who refused to move. I’m pretty sure he was a harmless garter snake, but didn’t want to try to step over him on the narrow trail. I banged my poles, kicked dirt, whistled and poked at him. No movement. After waiting a couple more minutes, I just has to push him over with my hiking pole.

As I continued, I leapfrogged another girl for the whole way from the spring to camp.  I ended up not seeing any more decent campsites and hiked 10 miles from the spring, 5 more than I planned, making for an almost 24 mile day. It was killer. There were a couple climbs to get there and they were brutal on my exhausted legs that happened to also be carrying 19 miles worth of water. Finally I started to descend, and reached the campsite for the night. Ate a no cook/waterless meal, socialized with the others at the site and retired top my tent for some much needed rest.

Ate:
Probar meal
Pop tart
Cookies
Dried fruit
Refried beans and cheese crackers in a tortilla
Cookies and cream hazelnut spread
Honey mustard chicken and crackers
String Cheese
Oreos
6 liters water

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