Not a good night of sleep, but that is my normal on night one now. Sigh.
I whipped up a meal replacement drink for breakfast, just to try it out… and I decided that I will continue to eat solid foods. I really like eating, and drinking my calories just doesn’t do it for me.
My legs felt heavy and slow, probably the lack of sleep and minimal breakfast, but I was still moving at a decent pace. When I took my first break I gave Kirk a call, he had been rafting on the John Day and we missed each other before I left town. The morning was hot so I took off some layers to get a little sun on some white skin, but it looked like the clouds were moving in. A quick check of the weather confirmed that, in fact rain and lightning is in store for the whole week… That could make for some interesting trail work.
I had lunch at Moss pass, and after about a mile the trail tread started to go downhill. Literally and figuratively. The next 5 miles or so were in poor shape, at times the tread completely covered with vegetation. It’s daunting to stay on top of this stuff! The Forest Service has a hint of the budget they really need to be able to do their job like trail work, and they rely heavily on volunteers to make up the difference. A lot of the trails aren’t hikeable because the maintenance has been deferred so long. Many of them around the country were built by the civilian conservation corps when the government put people to work around the time of the great depression, and we have this amazing legacy of trails now. I would love to see a modern CCC so we could maintain them. Or we could adequately fund our land management agencies so they can do the jobs they are mandated to do…
More hiking. I didn’t get rained on, but walked into an area that must have gotten hammered because everything was soaking wet and I was sliding around in the mud. I got some water from a cow infested creek before climbing up a little to find a camp spot.
I only left home yesterday but I smell like I’ve been out for weeks, I’m muddy, sweaty and bloody from a few scrapes… it doesn’t take long out here and I’m even dreaming of pizza even though I didn’t earn it yet!