Today was a bit of a struggle. Thankfully the weather stayed mostly clear as I traversed the Indian Ridge section. I was able to watch some massive storms blow through east of me and felt grateful to whoever created this trail for keeping me west. I believe I gained almost 4,000 feet today and struggled like crazy getting over my first pass around 12,500’. It seemed that I was taking a break every hundred feet just to catch my breath. My body felt fine for the most part, but my legs were exhausted and ready to be done with 8 miles to go. I’m glad I’m starting slow and letting everything find their place before kicking up the miles.
As I summited my first pass the trail became unbelievably gorgeous. Everything opened up and I was able to see the massive mountain formations that held me and the trail. I must have stayed above 11,700’ for about five miles before returning to tree level and the dense pine forests. There was a ton of snow on the north side of the ridges and I took a few tumbles and post holes trying to make my was across the snowy landscape. I didn’t see a single soul for the entire 15 miles and have yet to. That should change tomorrow as I enter an area highly used by mountain bikers.
The weather should be clearing up tomorrow, but who knows what will happen in these mountains. Depending on how I feel tomorrow I may attempt my first 20 mile day, but we will see. Loneliness creeps in from time to time, but the benefit of being up so high is that I have decent cell service to call for support and love.
Im happy to be on this trail and hopeful that my body continues to be healthy and strong. Camp tonight is next to a scenic overlook with hundreds of birds singing around me. The thrush song seems to be the most popular. About an hour until darkness and I’m already in my tent ready to pass out and start another day on the CT.