Front Load

Day 31

Mileage: 30.2
Total distance: 909

I woke up feeling nauseous from the beers and cold from the pad deflating as usual. I got up to get ready for my free breakfast and begin figuring out how to get back on the trail quickly. The saga of the arguing couple continues with finding out that the lady is sleeping with two men who are friends and they have a thing figured out between them. Last night they kept everyone up with extremely load moans until a brave hiker yelled, ” SHUT THE FUCK UP!!” and silence fell on the campground. 

Around 9 I got in a boat with four other hikers and jetted across the lake to begin hiking as fast as I could to get as close to Tuolumne Meadows as I could. 

My body felt fantastic from the rest. I flew up and over the first pass with hardly any breaks and mentally felt excited to be pushing myself uphill at a good pace. 

As time went on the trail took me over another pass with decent snow that slowed me down and across fords that drenched my feet. My spirits lowered as the afternoon hit and I still wanted to get a lot done before stopping. 

I stopped for a minute to get water at a little stream when a shirtless man slack packing ripped past me and cruised down the steady downhill into Reds Meadow. I decided to chase him to make good miles. 

For about three miles I hung behind him at a respectable distance, but eventually he started running when he noticed I was still behind him. I slowed my pace and started feeling an ache in my knee. 

I turned my phone on and miraculously had service for the first time in a week and immediately I called Molly. I walked the rest of the way talking with her and easing my right knee down the trail until I hit the lodge and bought a Pepsi, Gatorade, banana, skittles and starburst. 

I slowly made my way a few more miles into Devils posthole and on the way found a porcupine chillin in a stump. I got as close as I could for a picture and all he did was stare me down. 

I picked a descent camp spot and said goodnight to Molly before crawling into bed. My body felt all out of whack for moving too quickly down the trail and I would spend a while trying to fall asleep with hip and butt aches, but now I only have 33 miles into Tuolumne and an evening of rest at a campground. I’m so glad I got a Pepsi today. That made everything worth it. Tomorrow marks my one month trailversary and I’m going to relax all evening in Tuolumne. 

2 Replies to “Front Load”

  1. Ryan, I read all of your recent entries just now and I am crazy proud of your endurance. You are a total inspiration to me. I will be helping your parents sail the boat from Key West back to Galveston next week. I will be having a smidge of an adventure of my own through the open waters for 8 days and want to stay present in the moment as you are training yourself to do on the PCT. Keep on truckin’ and bloggin’! Love it!!!


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