Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 93-Diamond Drops of Water

Mile 1556 to mile 1577.7

I woke up to the sound of coyotes yipping and yapping somewhere in the distance. On the AT the first time I heard them the noise gave me chills. That's not the case any more.

When I got up my right leg from ankle to hip was stiff and sore. I don't usually wake up with hiker hobble, but it was a bad case this morning.

The trail followed a ridge around a lush looking valley. From the valley we could hear bells and it took awhile to realize we were hearing cowbells. Yet we saw on one cow (and a lot of cow pies in the trail.

We saw Frost taking a break on a log. We stopped to chat and find out who was ahead and behind.  We left him on his log to go to the first water source of the day knowing we'd probably see him there. We were having snack at the water when he caught up. He filled a bottle, talked for a bit about his ukulele, and then hiked on. A May Fly also stopped by the spring. He didn't say much and we left before he did.

It wasn't too many miles before we passed Frost again taking a break by another spring. This time we didn't really stop to chat. We wanted to get to the next spring and have lunch there.

It was an early lunch, but I was already hungry. I may have gone a little light on snack food this stretch, but I was looking forward to my lunch. I had a dried cheese spread that needed water added to it and a good stir and soak to become cheese again. The cheese stayed a little crunchy, but it was still pretty great and it had 650 calories so it was filling (but I still at a Heath Bar afterwards).

It was a rather short lunch-I didn't even take my shoes off. My leg was still feeling sore so it's more than just hiker's hobble. I don't remember hurting it during the past couple.of days.  I'd say it doesn't hurt enough to effect my hiking, but I hope it doesn't get worst.

A few miles after lunch the trail crossed a highway and entered the Trinity Alps Wilderness. We joked about how we always wanted to go to the alps. The mountains beyond the trail were just beautiful and the view got better with each step of the four mile long climb.

Just after the end of the climb was a water source and break time. While I was finishing a protein bar Q-ball hiked up. I haven't seen him since Kick Off. Not too far behind him were three other guys that were planning on camping in the same place as us.  Portrait knew them all, but I hadn't met them before.

While hiking I had to wonder if I had left the Trinity Alps and was transported to anywhere on the AT in the hot muggy summer.  My long sleeves were sticking to my arms, and my pant legs were sticking to my legs.  This wasn't the California that I had gotten used to.  Thankfully a large slow moving dark cloud settled over the sun bringing a little bit of relief from the heat if not the mugginess.  Then that cloud started to rain on me.  What a feeling to have small cold drops of water landed on my overheated skin.  I had almost forgotten that the clouds in California could rain.  It was the lightest rain I've felt on this trail and it didn't last nearly long enough, but it was beautiful.  All the underbrush had small diamond drops of water on their leaves that glittered in the sun. 
The Trinity Alps after the rain

After the spring the trail went up again for a couple of miles. We went high enough to see Shasta again.  And then the trail leveled out for the last few miles. To make time past Portrait and I gave my pack a mental shakedown (trimming the extra gear from the load). It really did make me lose track of time and I'll probably be sending a couple pounds home once I get to Ashland.

We ate dinner with three of the guys that passed us this afternoon. They had done back to back 35's and were planning on doing 28 into town tomorrow where they will zero. I'm happy doing low 20's and a nero into town. I was impressed by how much good junk food they still had-my food bag was jealous of their snack bags. They were a fun group to eat with and we should see them in town.

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