I wake at 545am to the sounds of hikers shaking out tents, a crow cawing to his mates and a turkey gobbling his way through the campground… naturally..doesn’t every campground have a turkey?
Around 6am I start faffing about with all my gear and get it packed away. You’d think that with just one 65L bag to fill up it wouldn’t take too long. It takes sooooo long. Inevitably the few things I pack away I need, so I unpack, and then lose things and forget things and pack more things away.
Finally I am on my way at 745am. 1h45!! Insane. I slurp down a pouch of squeezy fruit as I walk. The path takes me through some meadows before veering off to a track that eventually leads up a rocky path. About 1h30 in there is a nice rocky seat which I take to eat my museli. Turns out eating big portions of food and immediately hiking are not advisable for me. I’ve packed way too much food anyway, and haven’t been overly hungry. They say “hiker hunger” kicks in around week 2, once you’ve burned off a bunch of fat and your body starts suspecting that this is more than your average weekend walk. Hiker hunger is when you want to eat ALL THE TIME. It makes me think of that scene from back to the future 3 where they are shoving wood and explosives into the train to make it go faster and faster- it’s never enough!
There’s a bridge I have to walk under and see it has been ‘decorated’ with the names of hikers past. It’s cool reading all the names- some with trail names already.
In the distance I hear a strange animal sounds which at first I mistake for horses, then think it’s dogs and finally turn a corner to see a coyote! He eyes me for a second before trotting off making more noise. A few minutes later I see the friend he was talking to – one a pale brown and the other a lovely dark brown colour. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be scared of them, so I just pretend they are dogs and keep walking.
I take a break at a little campground that has horse yards in it before marching on. The trail starts climbing up and up giving a great view of the valley below.
The wind kicks in. And then kicks in some more. I have to take a rotten sidetrail tp a campground to get water, and it turns out the .6 mile trail is doooown down down all the elevation I just gained. Bugger.
It is freezing when I get to the campground below and the wind is relentless so I pitch my tent to have a break and a nap to see if it dies down.
It does not. I pack up my stuff and poke my head out of my tent to see rain. I was all ready to hit another 2 or 3 miles, but decide setting up on the ridge in the wind and rain doesn’t sound very appealing.
So I bunker down really really really early. Fabulously early. For a much needed early night and loong sleep.
Random song stuck in my head of the day: Wouldn’t it be nice – Beach Boys