Saturday, March 23, 2019
I laughed today. And cried. Sigh. Such is this trail!
Last night was cold, but I was snug in my tent. I had to pack it up wet again, though.
The first few miles were a little rugged, plus had lots of downed or bowed vegetation from the early-March snow. I passed CowStep, who told me the correct spelling of his name.
Soon the trail dipped into this wondrous pine forest, complete with a burbling creek. It reminded me a little of home — Wisconsin — and I welcomed the fresh, pine fragrance. There’s been a curious lack is scents out here.
I reveled in this section, which was relatively flat, and enjoyed CowStep’s company for a bit. He’s a writer, too, and young (25?). He’ll be teaching ESL in Japan come May.
My wonderful day took a nosedive around noon. First, the path went up this rocky chute for about a mile. It was difficult and ugly. Then it went downhill a mile, also difficult and ugly.
And that was the good part. Now the trail pitched steeply uphill for forever, then pitched sharply downhill. This was all scree, and my (new) shoes are already getting worn on the bottoms from all the rocks. I bashed my shin, fell onto my hands and had all sorts of other near-catastrophes.
When I was only a few miles from my campsite, trekking along a very windy ridge, I tripped and bashed my right knee on a rock. It’s very swollen and bruised and hurts a lot. I sure hope I didn’t tear a meniscus or something. This is when I cried.
I made it to my campsite. Got cleaned up. Am taking Ibuprofen for my knee. And I’m afraid to see how difficult tomorrow’s hike is supposed to be.
15.5 miles today
298.5 miles to date
501.5 miles to go