Insomnia strikes again. It never fails the first few nights out lately. I assume I am getting some kind of rest as I’m usually able to function the next day. I got a few hours right before dawn and woke to a lightening sky and my tarp fallen around me. While I had a money spot last night with the view, it was slight tilted so I kept running into my hiking pole which was keeping it up.
It took me almost 2 hours to get on the trail, I obviously don’t have my routine down yet, but as I will be hiking shorter days I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Right as I was putting my pack on a girl walks by and I immediately knew she was a PCT hiker and not at TRT hiker. Small pack, steady fast pace, business. I start walking and not 20 yards from me is another tent. I had no idea he was there!
The morning is clear and the sky blue. The terrain mellow as the trail enters desolation wilderness. I meet the hiker at a stream. She is Lucky Charm, and has had a hell of a time flipping around, but now she is about 300 miles from finishing…and she got through most of the now closed trail before the fires… I guess that’s why she got her trail name!
The next few hours were fairly mundane in the trees. I wore my Luna sandals all day. Not too bad until the end of the day. Late afternoon I made it to the granite lakes this wilderness is so known for, it’s an incredibly beautiful area. The rocks started to take their toll on my feet and I started to really feel the miles. I passed a trail crew and thanked them for their work. Not much of this looked familiar from 11 years ago. More lakes, more rocks. This is the area the ranger yesterday told me had problem bears that could open bear canisters and get bear hangs, so I wanted to hike past. The climb up to Dicks pass just about did my feet in. It was quite a panorama up top though. This looked familiar. I think NEMO and I glissaded down this pass.
Up top there were a few other hikers, I kept limping along, trying to keep up my momentum for the rocky 3 mile down hill. Finally I just couldn’t take it anymore and put my shoes on, but with the laces wide open. It seemed to work and give my heals some extra room, but as I was going downhill my toes were jammed in the front…I just can’t win. But 6 more days….hopefully I can limp through it. We thru-hikers are a stubborn bunch!
Finally I saw some flat ground and found a spot for a cowboy camp. Food, bear can away and done. So done. Hope I can sleep.
gosh i feel ya on the feet! since i’ve been using minimalist, zero drop, or barefoot shoes i’ve had a difficult time with “regular” hiking shoes. i like my luna sandals, but after a few hours i have the same reaction as you. if you like the min trail shoe you might check out http://www.carsonfootwear.com/ made in portland. i have loved mine…except they get stinky when sweaty and wet….
Thanks for the tip! I love the minimalist thing, but not if it jeapordizes my hiking…I’ll happily go back to my trusted heavier chacos if that’s the case