Daily Miles: 23
Total Miles: 299
It seems like the past few mornings, it has still been a bit dark out when our alarms go off at 5:30am. Perhaps we have just been camping in a heavily forested area, or in a slight valley…not sure. But when we got up today, we could tell that it was going to be a clear morning.
The morning was so still and the trail was really quiet. The beginning of the day had several steep climbs on trail that was full of fist sized rocks. When we finished that stretch, it was demoralizing to realize it had taken us three hours to go just over four miles. Luckily the trail for the rest of the day was really flat, so we could make up the time. SweetPea had been looking forward to the afternoon trail for several days, because she had seen how flat the elevation profile was.
We have started to accept that even though the day looks glorious when we wake up, grey clouds will come in by early afternoon. We are so used to weather that changes slowly…being able to predict a day’s weather by how nice it is when we wake up. But, we are getting used to the idea that we will start to hear thunder in the early afternoon, and most likely we will get at least a little bit of rain and hail. Today we were pretty lucky and only had a few minutes of hail. We were in an exposed area with no trees, so instead of hanging a hammock tarp, we just huddled under Beardoh’s poncho. That actually worked out better, since the hail only last two minutes or so.
We had another 10 mile dry stretch again today. When we got to the next water, it was basically a marshy area. The water we got has got to be the most disgusting water we have ever gotten. We were pretty happy to have the Sawyer Squeeze water filter with us for that water.
In the afternoon we saw a sign on an old cattle skull that said there was trail magic up ahead on the trail. We figured the sign could have been put there years ago, but as we walked, we could see what looked like a tent a ways up the trail. It turned out to be trail magic from Apple. He is a serial trail angel, and we had gotten trail magic from him in 2011 when we were hiking the AT. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there, but he had cold drinks and chairs to sit in. We both had a cold Coke, and enjoyed sitting in a comfy chair. While we were there, another hiker we’ve seen over the past few days, James, came up. He was only the second person we had seen all day (the other person was a bike packer).
After a half hour, we decided to walk a bit further. Since we had already done more miles than we needed to for the day, we decided to just find a place to camp and then cook dinner at camp. We had been walking a lot of the late afternoon through fields, so we stopped to camp at one of the first stretches of woods that we found.
After setting up our hammocks and eating dinner, the rancher of a herd of cows about a mile away, seemed to come out on his ATV and drive all the cows to the field right in front of the woods where we were camped. We realized there was no way we would be able to sleep with the cows making so much noise near us, and with the likelihood of them coming into the woods where we were hanging, we decided to take everything down, pack up and keep walking. It was about 7:40pm when we made the decision to move camp, and about 8:30pm when we found a new home (with no cows in sight). Our new campsite has a great view to the rolling hills and fields in front of us. Even though we were super irritated to have to move locations, we are happy to be in a very quiet place for the night.