Feb. 24, 2017
Last night was the best night’s sleep yet. I woke up at 7:00 and felt absolutely refreshed and energized. I looked around and there wasn’t a drop of condensation to be found. Made my breakfast of oatmeal (note to self: use a LOT more brown sugar and maple flavoring) and slowly got things packed. It’s so much easier when I’m not having to wipe down my tent and ground cover. Also, not so sure I really even need the ground cover… It was a little chilly but I just kept my thermals on and threw on some shorts and a shirt on top.
I started hiking at 8:30 and knew I was going to be plowing through the miles. I figured since roughly 20 of these 30 miles have been uphill on the way in, I’d finally get a break and I was not wrong. About an hour in, I ran into my first hiker of the day. He asked if I was Greenbeard and seemed excited to meet me. I think he said he was also on his fourth day so he must’ve started right after me and just been a couple of miles behind the whole way. I’ll have to check the registration box on the way out.
After a couple of hours, I stopped for lunch (dry chili mix was a great idea to mix with couscous (as was the soup mix)) and who should appear? Why, Jackie and Lola again! We chatted for a bit about food and cooking setups (he’s decided that his alcohol stove just doesn’t cut it). We talked about the climbs here and if we thought they’d be similar to the AT and whether or not being 19 and in shape would help us at all. They headed off and I finished my lunch and got back to hiking.
An hour and a half after lunch, I ran into 2 younger guys just flying down the mountain. We talked for a bit and I found out that they were hiking the entire OHT and were aiming (and on track) for 25 miles today. Well, there ya go, Jackie. We have our answer. They told me to keep an eye out for their friend, Silas, hiking the AT this year but if he hikes like them at all, I doubt I’ll catch up to him.
I kept on hiking and decided to try and make it to my first campsite of the trip. I was feeling pretty energetic and nothing was overly sore but that was also the next major water source. It was chilly all day so now I was really hustling to make it before dark. I ran into one more hiker but we didn’t talk very long. He was fine camping wherever but I always like to try and be near water. I made it to my site just a few minutes past 6:00 and quickly set up in preparation for a cold night with a big fire,
20 miles! After a 10, 9, and 11 mile day, it feels pretty great! I can attribute the larger mileage to it being my 4th day of hiking. And maybe my lighter pack. And there only being 3 big climbs today and so many wonderful descents… Not too many pictures today since I’ve already passed everything but it is nice seeing sights from a different perspective.
Tomorrow’s supposed to be rather cold but there’s only 10 easy miles left to go. I’ll be headed out a day early but I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of information. I’m gonna have to rethink some of my gear but it’s been pretty enlightening.