Mar. 4, 2017
It feels great to be back on the trail. My pack might weigh me down but my spirit lifts me more. I had a bit later start than intended. Completely my fault. I forgot to grab my spare fuel canister and I (rightfully) didn’t trust how much I had left. I tried finding some along the way but all the little towns only sold propane. We had to drive an extra 20 miles out-of-the-way to a Walmart where I begrudgingly bought a much too large canister of fuel. Beats running out though.
By noon I had bid my dad farewell, borrowed a scrap of paper off a young couple, dropped my info into the registration box and was back to doing what it is we hikers do: Walking. It wasn’t long before I had my first water crossing. This one was slick and deep. And cold. Painfully so, actually, but I overcame it and frightened some nearby deer with my fearsome victory whoop!
This section of the trail really is something else! There’s an awesome creek that runs along most of it and there are shallow caves and waterfalls everywhere! It did get a little steep and at one point I actually had to scramble up on all fours but I found it pretty fun. I found a nice walking stick while stopped for my lunch. Couscous with dehydrated tomatoes, peppers, and carrots, plus seasoning. My dad’s really been going ham with the dehydrator.
I picked out a campsite 11 miles in and set on after lunch. As I was getting to my location I came to a creek and lost the trail. I looked up one way. Then I looked the other…
Is that… way up there? Oh, someone’s really funny. Well, I made it without slipping until I reached the other side. At least I avoided the water. I was surprised to see another hiker camped up at the same site. We got to talking and I set up close-by. His name was Slow Camp Mike due to him taking his time setting up and breaking down camp. I can dig it. We got a little fire going and talked trails, gear, nature, all sorts of things until it got too late for us. 8:00 pm, I believe. Haha! I stayed up a bit to do some reading but was soon fast asleep. It was a nice first day.