Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Had a great evening last night in my cute campsite. It wasn’t too cold at night and I heard some coyotes, but nothing else. Right now it takes me about two hours to get up, eat breakfast, break camp and get going. Let’s see if I can get that time down by the end of the hike!

I hit the trail around 8:15 this morning, this time wearing hiking pants. It was supposed to be around 80, but given what happened yesterday, plus the fact that I’d sunburned the backs of my legs, I figured I’d give the hiking pants a try. Most of the day’s hiking was uphill, which was a drag. But I met many more hikers, including the trio of Cashmere, Cookie and Tick Tock. They seem nice, and I hope our paths cross again. They didn’t laugh at me while I struggled to get my pack on and stand up (actually, they did, but I was laughing, too), and Cookie told me it’s easiest to roll over onto your hands and knees and then stand up. She was right!

Around noon I took a break under a tree with a guy named Mock. Of all things, his brother moved from Indiana to Sheboygan, my hometown, and still lives there! Mock said it was downhill from here (that was a lie!) and that water was plentiful. I had another stash waiting at the upcoming Parker Canyon Lake Trailhead, again courtesy of Steve, but that was a ways away.

Kindness, Diet Coke and Cookies

I left Mock and ran into Emily from Milwaukee. She had seen the water labeled for me and left it, bless her heart, even though she was thirsty. Several miles from the trailhead, I ran into two ladies section-hiking the trail with daypacks. They chatted with me a while and were very nice and encouraging. The last mile or so to the trailhead I was really dragging, It was hot, it was uphill and I wanted to be done for the day — but I had another 4-5 miles to go after the trailhead.

Well, I get to the trailhead and the ladies were there, resting, and cheered me in. They had a friend waiting to shuttle them, and she gave me a frosty cold Diet Coke — boy, did that taste good! Then one of the hikers gave me a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. That just made my day, and changed my whole mood. They cheered me out back on the trail saying, “You got this, Snowshoe!” 

Home, Sweet Campsite

Thankfully, my last four miles were mostly downhill or flat. I found a lovely camping spot near the Miller Peak Wilderness Boundary, thanks to the Guthook app. There was no view like last night, but the spot was quiet and secluded and nice. I heard almost no noises all night, not even the wind blowing. It got colder, but I was able to get back to sleep by putting one of those silver emergency blankets over my body, under my sleeping quilt. 

Guess I never described the trail today – ha! Much like Canelo Hills West, it featured golden hills with lots of trees. The vastness of the landscape is incredible. And it’s really cool to walk along mountain ridges, especially when the wind is blowing and you feel like you might blow off the mountaintop. I carried lots of water and filtered some, yet still needed Steve’s cache. Even though I probably drank a gallon of water today, I didn’t pee all day.

Snowshoe

17.1 miles today
35.4 miles to date
764.6 miles to go

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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