Total distance: 2055.7
One of my favorite times of the day is when I get to look up how far I’ve come when I begin writing my post. To me it’s like an all encompassing ranking on my day. Low mileage usually means town day and high mileage usually means flat surface and an early start and for the most part that was how today went.
My alarm went off at 5 am as I flung my limbs around my tarp trying to find my blaring phone. Eventually I found it tucked away in the creases of my bag and silenced it. Ten minutes went by and the same thing happened to the T. I felt horrible for the people around me so I cautiously unzipped my tent and packed my things as quietly as I could.
The air this morning was wet and there was a warmth in the wind that lazily lapped at the trees around me. I felt awake and motivated to do big miles and after I stretched for a few minutes and chugged my crystal lite with caffeine, I headed out.
The colors of the sky made the clouds look like horizontal sky scrapers burning in the air. Mountains stood in all directions and my visibility was high due to the burn zone I was walking through. My pace remained consistent and I entered one of my favorite mindsets I can acquire while thru hiking; nothingness. My mind became blank and thoughts went in and out of my head like the wind that blew around me. I wonder if this is sort of a survival mechanism in that I don’t allow myself to obsess with time or mileage and I just exist peacefully in the woods as the rest of nature surrounding me does. Before I knew it I had 20 miles in.
As I round a corner on the biggest climb of the day in Jefferson Park I looked up briefly to see a south bounder heading down the trail. I looked down and immediately looked back up to recognize my friend Ginger! We both whooped and hollered and rejoiced in getting to cross paths in the heart of an epic adventure. We sat for a while talking about our time on the trail and sharing with each other the difficulties we have faced and what we are still facing. I wanted to do more, to give more, but I felt helpless almost in encouraging her with what lies ahead. Not that there is nothing exciting to come, but that my vault of positivity has become solely lavished onto myself and I suck it dry daily with whatever amount remains. Within a few minutes we both had to keep moving so we said our goodbyes and parted ways to walk the path the other had just completed. An extremely wild moment.
The rest of the day flew by as I again entered the numbness of my mental space and headed into another resort to get a coke and meet up with some old friends that past me during my time off. I ate dinner, ramen and a day old soggy cheeze it mashed potato dinner, and was fulfilled with the company around me. I didn’t stay long and after I said goodbye yet again to faces I may or may not see again I left to finish my day with another 13 miles.
The trail today was smooth, for the most part, and wound in and out of burn zones and up and down small hills that were usually in the shade of the red firs. Jefferson park was breathtaking with incredible views of the mountain and lush green meadows stamping the smooth service of the peaks.
Around mile 40 my legs started to ache like never before and I gave all the energy I had to get myself to camp quickly, but with caution in each step. My brain felt stable today in the most simple way I’ve almost ever experience. The headspace of emptiness and peace was incredible to be blessed with and leaves me feeling calm and relaxed as I lay my exhausted bones down for a night of healing. Two more fills days in Oregon before the final state. It’s crazy how fast this seems to be going by. I hope to hold on to every moment in the fullness of its truth for as long as it allows me.