July 11th, 2021
Mile Marker: 1253
Miles Hiked Today: 26
Last night the crew was split up by half a mile due to a lack of camp spots. Planner, Journey, and I all went a little further to camp and during the night heard Planner yelling at what we found out to be a deer.
It was 11:30 and I was in a deep sleep when I was startled awake by Journey’s voice yelling at Planner asking if she was okay.
I quickly shot up in my tent, turned on my headlamp, and saw a deer heading towards my tent and pee spot. These dang deer and their need for salt…🤦🏽♀️ Thankfully it wasn’t a bear.
We got up early at 5 am today to knock out the majority of the miles before we needed to siesta.
Since we were in a thick forest, it stayed darker later and once out on the first climb of the day I could finally see the sunrise.
The trail then took us up on a bald and then many miles through the forest. All of our water sources for the majority of the day were .3 miles off trail. These spots were the meet up for all of us on trail.
After the second water stop, we hiked on and saw a car and a bright red cooler sitting next to it.
Could it be?
It was some delicious trail magic! We popped it open and found some cookies and one last IPA calling our name. It truly felt like it was in the middle of no where, and those were the best places for any trail magic to be. We chugged the single beer, scarfed some cookies, and continued hiking to find a women hiking southbound. She stopped us and asked if we were able to get any trail magic and that she had come out to bring her boyfriend a resupply and camp with him and also left the magic for us hikers as she hiked with him for half of the morning.
We graciously thanked her and hiked on into an old wildfire zone.
It lasted forever and almost felt depressing. The charred trees, the lack of wildlife. It felt haunting.
I thought today about all the decisions we make and how life plays out. I felt like the trail paralleled this a bit. For instance if you make the decision to go down to a water source and the person behind you doesn’t, you may never see that person again on trail as they will always be ahead of you without you knowing it.
Life is full of all these decisions we make. These decisions then piece together and make a life. Sometimes we take a long time to ponder over a decision but ultimately, we make one and go with it. It feels like we are all finding the different paths we can take and figuring out which one we enjoy the most.
Do you enjoy the path you are on?
Eventually, through all the burn and depressing views, I came upon this single flower, thriving and shining a bright yellow.
It’s a good reminder that even though sometimes we make decisions that are hard and hurt, there can still be light in the future.
I arrived at lunch late as I was taking my time hiking by myself. I just wanted to have that present moment. To just be and to accept.
Once I got there I decided I didn’t want to stay too long because in 5 more miles there was supposed to be a swimming hole in a river. I could not pass this up. I was craving a place to dunk myself.
The temperature was now climbing close to 100. So I chugged a ton of water, napped for about 20 minutes and then headed out solo again.
I was so happy I did. Once I started seeing bits of the river, I knew it was going to be a solid spot.
I found my way through the rocks and out onto swimming hole spot that made me follow the current and into a big swimming pool.
It was so delightful exploring the river and rocks and finding great places to sit out and swim. It felt like a deep breath as I laid out on a rock with the sun shining on my face and wind cooling me off.
It just may have been my favorite place yet.
I then only had 3 more miles to our camp spot for the night. I charged up the mountain and when I arrived quickly saw how small it was and realized that we were going to be cramming together for sure.
My favorite. We all found a spot and then ate dinner in close quarters. I couldn’t of asked for a better evening. A family who eats together, stays together. ❤️
We are just dirty hikers finding our way and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Iz and Oz