Hit 22 miles straight on yesterday. Today I’m looking at 22-24.
Started this morning after not sleeping too well. I hiked last night well into dark, trying to make the next water source so I could drink something before bed, & also have enough to drink in the morning while I filtered & purified all the water I’d need for that day. I finally made it to the small creek, and filtered while the after dark bugs made a small snack out of me.
The creek was located in a series of nooks in the hillside, so there weren’t any good spots to camp. I decided to go back up the trail 100 meters where I could sleep right on the trail, on a level piece of dirt. The wind had picked up, and was howling like a banshee though the canyon I was in. Ingredient #1 for a bad nights sleep. Ingredient #2 was seeing a Mojave Green rattlesnake slither towards my bivy. Of course, no snake was even near me; I had imagined it in a half-asleep dream moment. Nonetheless, it had me peering out my bivy with my headlamp! Ingredient #3 was the fact that cattle had recently been on this section of trail. I’d seen their fresh cowpies just 20 feet from where I was sleeping, and with the trail being just 2 feet wide with nowhere to walk around me, I had images of being not-so-gently woken up by a gaggle of moo cows in the morning. So sleep came sporadically & infrequently. Still, the sunrise was amazing, and after packing up & filtering today’s water, I was off.
The rest of the day went by in stages: early morning, fantastic. Felt great, lots of energy, great pace. Just me & my thoughts, quickly putting the rough, later-than-usual night behind me. I had a 1,000 calorie breakfast, and I was in a groove. Then, I took a quick break after 2 1/2 good hours, and when I started walking again…ugh. No energy, no strength, nothing. Strange considering the good breakfast & start to the day I had.
I decided to break whenever I felt like it today, so in all I probably took 4 breaks of at least 30 minutes each, one was 90 minutes. I eventually turned to the power of the iPod to get me moving again, and decided on some harder, aggressive music to jumpstart me. Good idea, but got old quick, so I turned to my 80’s playlist, and was just what I needed. Adam Ant, Depeche Mode, The Cure, King, Flock of Seagulls…did they have ANY idea that 25 or so years after they recorded those songs, that some dirty, sweaty, smelly, gets-confused-with-a-homeless-guy hiker dude who’s walking from Mexico to Canada in the backcountry would get inspired to keep going on a tough day from their music?
Eventually I made it to my target: Robin Bird Spring. The first water in over 20 miles, and what water it was! I quickly grabbed my Gatorade bottles, ran uphill to the spring, and took a Gatorade bottle bath! ‘Amazing’ would be an inadequate term…it was phenomenally refreshing and wholly rejuvenating. Wonderful. And the water, after treating it properly, was crisp, ice cold & delicious. I think when I finally get home, all I’m going to do is drink water…and more water…and more water!
Ice cubes. I would have given someone the shirt off my back for one ice cube today. Another day of 100 degrees, and lots of climbs it seemed. Bad combination.
Today my mind went to the women & kids that I’m hiking for, that are still captive & being forced to prostitute themselves. Memories of being there, in Mumbai, in the red light district, spending time with those women, and visiting the kids at the shelter. I’ll write more about that later, but I just want to encourage you, from the depths of my heart, to take a few moments and consider donating to this cause that I am hiking for. I’m not out here for grins & giggles, I’m out here hoping to help change lives, but I need you. Wait, let me rephrase that: I NEED YOU. I need your prayers, I need you spreading the word through Facebook, Reddit, work, family, blogs, any way possible, but I also need your donations. Without that aspect, no one is getting freed. I’m taking off work for 4 to 5 months. No income whatsoever. Just to try and raise funds & awareness for this cause. There have already been some generous people (I’ll keep everyone anonymous), but at this point, if I had just kept working and lived in a tent down by the river for 4 to 5 months, I would have raised more money. Please, become invested in this crazy hike with me, and donate anything: $5, $10, $100, or the exclusive $1,000,000 spot. (I have only one of those available.) 😉
Any amount would be greatly appreciated. If you have already given, THANK YOU!
Tomorrow I’m up at 4:00am, hoping to get in 25+ miles. The miles are starting to pick up now, and 4 of the last 5 full days of hiking have been 20+ mile days. I passed the 600 mile mark today, and have exactly 100 miles to go until Kennedy Meadows. There, I resupply, pick up my ice axe and other cold weather gear, and begin the snowy trek through the Sierra Mountains. They’ve had a 35 year high in snowfall this year (of course, the year I hike the PCT, right?) and it will be a good challenge.