Friday, June 26, 2020

I didn’t get the best night of sleep, which usually happens the first night on trail, getting a feeling for my barrens. I would wake up often. It was a pretty warm night to have a 10 degree quilt. The wind picked up around 12:30 by morning the temperature had become more comfortable. 

I heard Professor get up around 4am to use the bathroom. Our alarms were set for 4:30am, so I snuggled up in my sleeping bag just a little bit longer. When I heard the chime, I knew it was time to get up. I started to back up the inside of my tent and soon heard Professor doing the same. A Boston couple headed out past us with the same intentions of beating the heat over a particular dry section, which is why we got up so early. 

The next section after leaving the river was in a burn area. It was known to be hot. Luckily, our early start allowed us to mostly be in the shade because the sun was being blocked by a mountain. I was ahead of Professor. We weaved into the woods getting pockets of views.

A biker the day before mentioned seeing moose in segment 2 and 3. Just as I remembered, I happened to look up and a deer was a few feet in front of me. Scaring me. I walked on until I reached some interesting rock piles and decided to explore further to find a view and Julia. Julia was a college girl from California hiking the trail solo. We chatted for a bit and Professor caught up to us. I called my dad for him to send me my other filter because the Be Free was leaking. He didn’t answer and I left a message.

About 10 minutes later, I headed back on the trail. We had 5 more miles to make it the Fire Station, which was the next available water source. A ten mile water carry and a hot section. 

The trail crossed paths with a road and a logging area that was slightly exposed. It spit you out of the woods into a new growth area that suffered from a fire 2 years ago. It was hot but with a light breeze it was enjoyable. It helped it was still early morning. 

Second day on trail, I was able to get 10 by 10. The trail is pretty nicely groomed. Nothing compares to what I was hiking at home. 

I got to the Fire station and filled up on water. I retreated to the nearby shade to elevate my feet and snack. Professor showed soon after me followed by Julia. I invited her to camp with us that night if she didn’t want to be alone and told her where we planned to get too. 

Professor and I headed out together and walked the rest of the day one behind the other. We got some breathtaking views.  We had planned do another 16-17 mile day. But accidentally, we walked by our intended camp spot while chatting with another hiker. There was a reliable water source for a mile away. We begrudgingly walked there and found it dry and stagnant. The next possible source was .6 away…. also dry. The next source was a mile away thanks to some day hikers for informing us when we sat for one last break. Our feet were barking. I elevated them against a tree. 

Thankfully there was gushing, ice cold water at camp and we caught up with the Boston couple again. We set up along Buffalo Creek, which put was at 19.4 miles for the day! We got to camp a little before 4 and still had time to stretch, and clean up. We had dinner around the unlit campfire pit and shared in each other’s adventures. The funny thing was watching Professor and I hang the bear bag. We got the line stuck in the tree and had to bat the rock bag with a large branch like a piñata. 

It was long and tiring day but eager to settle in with my new home for the next month.