Daily Miles: 21
Total Miles: 609
Got a really early start with our alarms going off at 4:15am. We knew we wanted as much time walking in the cool morning temps that we could get. We all packed up quickly and were on the trail by 4:45.
The trail in the early morning was really nice and was fairly flat. It seems that the windmills we slept near last night may be the end of them as we haven’t seen any more windmills during the day. Seems a bit weird as they have been a consistent part of the landscape for the past five days.
We had some bigger climbs in the later morning which got harder as the sun intensified. The breeze we had enjoyed yesterday was sorely missing today. It definitely dampens the heat of the sun, but it also helps to keep the gnats/black flies at bay. Without the wind today, the gnats were free to swarm our heads for a large part of the morning and evening.
Around 11:00, we got to the 600 mile marker. We took our photos and continued on since that stretch of trail is actually a dirt road and super hot. It felt good to hit the 600 mile marker on our one month “trailaversary”. We have been happy with our progress so far. We’ve been able to keep a good pace, while still not pushing ourselves too much.
At noon, we got to the first water of the day (14 miles in). It came just in time, as we were getting low on water and it was getting really hot. There was a south-bound hiker at the water who told us about three water caches that are in the long dry stretch we will be starting tomorrow. We talked about how that could affect the amount of water we end taking with us tomorrow morning. We had considered taking as much as ten liters for each of us, but it would make such a difference for hiking if we could take half that. We all decided to leave camp tomorrow morning with 4 liters of water. We have a backup plan in case the water cache doesn’t have enough water, but hopefully we won’t have to resort to that.
At the water spot we knew we would be hanging there for most of the afternoon, so we decided to hang up our hammocks in order to get as comfortable as possible. Beardoh even managed to get an hour nap in. As usually, all the hikers gathered at the water packed up and headed out around 5pm. Most of the other hikers were planning to go another 14 miles, but we decided to just stop at the final water source (6 miles). Our campsite is really nice tonight…a perfect location for tents and hammocks. We are the only ones camped here and the night is quiet and cool.