Hiking along the OHT: Day 2

Feb. 22, 2017

I started waking up this morning around 5:00. I was rustling around too much and my air mattress and sleeping bag had moved against the side of my tent. I woke up to dampness everywhere. Too humid. Chilly… I finally got up around 7:00 and was surrounded by fog. The forest was quiet and still and gave the morning an eerie feeling that I kinda enjoyed. Mysterious and slightly ominous, it was like stepping into a fantasy novel where anything could be waiting, lurking in the distance.

I was pleased to notice that my feet were not sore and the pain in my knee was just a dull ache that was knocked out with some Tylenol. I decided to forego cooking breakfast and just eat the pear that I was carrying instead. Glad to be rid of that extra weight, though it was quite delicious. I had to start the morning with a water crossing that was extra cold thanks to it being so early.With shoes in one hand, my walking stick in thte other, and a pear in my mouth, I made it across without falling in.

Today was an especially rough day. Once again, it was mostly uphill and steep to boot. Water was also on short supply. I had passed one other stream early in the morning but then hours of nothing. There was probably a 6 mile stretch without another water source and I was beginning to feel a bit weak with all the climbing and it being fairly warm out. Even with all the aches and sweat, I was able to catch a ton of beautiful views. I could even see a stone tower on top of what I believe is White Rock Mountain.

I could see a copse of conifers on a distant mountainside and shortly after I wandered into one of my own. I’m a big fan of pine trees 🙂

When I finally came to another creek (Salt Creek, according to my map) with a fire ring I decided to sit for a bit and rethink my strategy. I’d been pushing myself too hard and I couldn’t figure out why. I felt it was imperative to see how many miles I could do instead of how many miles my body likes to do. After that, I set up camp, gathered lots of firewood, and called it a day.

Only 9 grueling miles done today but it’s important to listen to your body. I’ll enjoy my fire, eat well, listen to some music or maybe make some of my own. I get the feeling that tomorrow will go much smoother.

Also, here’s how I save on cooking fuel:img_20170222_192159

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