Sometimes naps are necessary.
I didn’t sleep very well at all. Tossing and turning every 30 minutes it seemed. None the less, I woke and was off at a usual early start. I hiked on without my coffee this morning, as I was none about. There were no eggs and bacon either, so I couldn’t be comlpaining that much. I hiked up the hill from camp and soon noticed there were 3 hikers behind me.
This annoyed me. I dont like people I dont know hiking behind me, so I picked up my step and pressed on. At the time I only had 1.5 liters of water and it was a 14 miles stretch to the next source if I didnt pick up any at the next creek. Being so stubbord and annoyed by the hikers I forgot all about topping off and hiked right past the creek. I realized it by the time I got to the road.
A paved highway lead to Etna, which I had opted to skip over by grabbing a few extra days food from Mt. Shasta. It was a good thing too as the road looked like a ghost town, save a lonely hiker waiting for a car to come speeding by. I bid him good luck and pressed on, trying not to think about water.
The climb came shortly after and I tried to sip sparringly at the life fluid in my bottles. The trail was chunky granit and on a down after the climb it finally let up to a soft red dirt. It kept switching back and forth like the trail couldn’t make up its mind. I was tired from the sleepless night before and it was starting to show on me.
I mouth was dry and I was down to 0.5 liters. There was a spring just up trail, however it was 0.5 miles rount trip off trail with some gain involved. I wanted bady to skip it, but the next water was 3 miles after and I had already been rationing my water until this point. My mouth pleeded for a sip, and I allowed a small one, just enough to fight off the drymouth. Suddenly just a mile before the spring turnoff I found a very small trickling seep coing out of the wall. Most anyone would have passed it up thinking it wasnt worth the time, but I grabbed a leaf nearby and went to work. Soon after 3 minutes or so I had a full liter of water and rejoyced!
I pressed on and soon bumped into a tail crew hiking along with old school gear, obviously headed to a new camp setting up their next work spot. I passed and thanked them for their work. After a mile or so more I came to a creek, had a snack, and a much needed nap. I was starting to stumble around from exhaustion and my pace was sluggish and slow. I needed a reset button.
I woke refreshed, threw my pack on and headed up trail. Soon I bumped into Cougar and we chatted a while. The usual, fires, why we are here, where we are from, what we did before this. We chatted on until coming to the next spring where we collected water. She decided to break and I pressed on and up the next big climb. Up and down and up again.
Finally I dipped into a valley riddled with marble rock which was also lush and green. I soon found the creek that was feeding all this growth and filled my bottles. Swan came around the corner and we chatted on as we filered, watching a nearby deer munch on grass. I said my goodbyes and pushed the last 2 miles to camp. Whew, finally made it. Shoes off, tent up, food done, and lights out. A good day indeed!
Cougar – 42, from Seattle. She graduated Mechanical Engineering, but worked for the Navy on Nuclear Power plants. She loves quilting and discovered this when she worked at a fabric shop in her teens. Always facinated by the trail, she finally said she needed a break from work and made the time to make it mappen. She usually hikes with her partner Hurricane, however he is currently a long way off trying his hand at he Ledville 100 race. If she can get to cascades locks in time, she plans to fly out and cheer him on. A very nice lady indeed!