Friday, July 3 — Miles 343.0-360.4 + 3 miles to get back to the CT (20.4 miles for the day)
6am comes all to soon. Isaac and I are up quickly to finish packing our things, snag a cup of coffee, and meet Debbie outside. A fellow hiker is already there, and he’s going to share our ride back to the trail.
Debbie pulls up, we cram in her truck, and she whisks us back up those miles that we so painfully walked two days before.
From the drop off point, we have 3 miles to climb to get back on the trail. We spend the whole way talking with our new hiker friend, Blue Collar (that’s his trail name). He’s doing the CDT and has already complete the Appalachian Trail, and makes for a great conversationalist as we climb. Once we’re at the trail, though, we part ways as he heads north and we go south.
From here, our day is basically one long patch of misery. We have the most extreme climbs, followed by equally extreme descents—both of which combine to take a toll on our bodies. The day is perpetually cloudy and we get rained on 3 different times and hailed on twice. It’s windy. It’s cold. Our feet hurt. Need I go on? The bright spot is that we DO see some stunning views.
We do a great job keeping up spirits for most of the day, but I am wrestling with an inner voice telling me should just quit this hike. We keep trying to be thru-hikers, and we’re just not great at it. Isaac, champ that he is, talks me off the ledge and convinces me to finish out our intended mileage for the day.
After 12 hours of hiking, we reach our intended campsite and just manage to set up our tent before a thunderstorm settles in for the rest of the night. We’re at 12000 feet and it’s chilly, but we’re thankful to be dry and out of the elements.
Overall it was a rough day. But I guess they can’t all be great? And we still did the miles. We’re out here doing it. And soon we’ll be done!
Isaac’s haiku of the day (this one’s about beer!)
Sweet nectar of life.
Revive my extremities.
Warm my cold chaffed heart.