Sunday, July 10, 2016

Day 71 : Thru-hiking Is A Lesson In Suffering

26 miles today
1410 miles to go

The wind is here when I awake, still. I eat in my tent in the pre-dawn semi-darkness. Then I sort and stuff snacks into my pockets. I pack quickly and head down the trail. Down, hoping to get away from the wind. It's cold here too. Great for sleeping. It would be great for hiking except I'm chilled. I keep descending down the trail. The sun is too low to warm anything. Everything is cold, or maybe it's just me. I descend to the ‘A’ tree spring and find a slew of Thru-hikers camping. There is no wind. The sun is actually warming things up. I stand in the sun before moving on. The morning continues with its ups and downs. I go up and over saddle after saddle. They are too small to be seen as significant. The trail passes by a number of small streams and brooks. I don't need water, it's cool and I'm not drinking much. On and on I walk. I notice that my feet are now sore. The outside of each foot at the widest part. Sore, is it bruised? Is it blistered? I remember yesterday I tied my shoes too tight and they were pressing at that point. I loosened them and thought I was good. Now they feel sore. Toe box, schmoe box, these shoes are pressing on the side of my foot. I'll ignore it for now. Maybe it'll stop, ha, it never stops. I started with loose laces today and my feet still hurt. As I walk on the day progresses. I think that Thru-hiking is a way to learn suffering. As soon as one thing resolves (my knee), there is something else to cause you to suffer. Pain is a staple that all thru-hikers must accept if they are going to complete this hike. 

I see only one Thru-hiker, Cornelius. We chat for a few minutes at Alder Spring. Then he leaves and I am alone. All day alone in the woods. All the slower hikers are either behind me or have quit. I used to see slower hikers resting at the tops of hills, or by water. Not anymore. The only Thru-hikers around are those who can hike twenty five to thirty miles a day with minimal stops. So I never see them during the day. Typically I pass hikers in the morning and they pass me at night because I am one of the few early hikers. I start early and end early. Most others start later and end later. 

No cicadas. I haven't heard them since the day I hiked into Sierra City. Yesterday's wind was so loud that I couldn't have heard them. Today, now that I am out of the wind is quiet. It's eerie quiet. I've been listening to cicadas every day since the desert. Now they're gone. 

It's fourish, I've reached my goal, the place on the map I selected to camp tonight. I'm here on time. I setup my tent and crawl inside it's too early for dinner I lay back and nap. The air is perfect for napping. I doze till around five thirty when I get up to cook. Now other Thru-hikers start to show up. A few camp nearby, others press on to points further north. It's been a good productive day. Keeping this pace is ideal for me. To walk twenty five miles before four pm allows me plenty of daylight time to get done all I want to get done before dark.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck for you. Hope you will share your experience to me :)). Thank you