Daily Miles: 22
Total Miles: 48.5
We woke up to coyotes howling in the distance. It was bright out when our alarms went off at 5:30am and we were going pretty quickly. It’s funny how getting up so early on the trail seems normal, since it is light out, but it feels insanely early when we’re at home.
We got on the trail at 6:20am and just had about a half mile to walk before we came to a fire station near the trail which had an outdoor spigot for hikers to use. We took the time there for SweetPea to roll out her hip on the nice flat metal door. Beardoh also did some back stretches.
We were surprised that we didn’t see any tents along the trail for the first few miles. The folks we had hiked with yesterday either went pretty far yesterday or got up super early today.
The trail started out really nice and pretty flat. We could tell that it was a holiday weekend, because there were a lot of cars near trailheads and quite a few folks out on the trail. We probably saw at least forty mountain bikers on the trail before lunch.
We only saw one hiker who we had seen yesterday…all the other hikers were new to us. Yesterday we had seen at least 15 through hikers and today we saw at least that many. We met a thru-hiker who is 72 and another who is 75. It gives us hope that we can still be out enjoying long trails when we are older.
It seemed like from around 10am on, the day was spent climbing. Some of the trail was nice and gradual, but some was quite steep. Parts even reminded us of hiking in New Hampshire where the trails are steep and rocky. We spent several hours hiking along an old logging road… so similar to near where we live in NH.
All the uphill, along with warmer weather today had SweetPea dragging most of the day. By the time we were close to stopping for our dinner break at 5pm, our pace had slowed to a crawl. We ended up just cooking on the side of the trail. It is nice to stretch, massage our feet and do some trigger point therapy on our legs and shoulders while we wait for the food to fully cook.
We were both so beat, but felt a bit better after eating. Once we headed back on the trail, our pace was quicker and we easily made it to the top of the climb. Then we just enjoyed some flat trail and a gentle downhill. We started to hear thunder and see some grey clouds, so we decided to make camp around 7pm. We both have our tarps up, but we’re not sure if the rain will really materialize. We’re camped several thousand feet higher than last night, so it may be a bit cooler.
After yesterday’s easy-breezy day, today felt like a beat down. We are both super exhausted after all the climbing. Looking at the elevation profile for tomorrow, it should be a bit easier than today. We’ll keep our fingers crossed!