It was after 3pm today when it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen a single human being the entire day. When I left camp at 6:30am this morning the others there were still sound asleep and other than fresh footprints on the trail, there was no other sign of life. I was starting to think there’d been a mass evacuation from the trail and I must have missed the memo when around 4pm I saw two people coming south! I spoke to the man who was 400 miles away from completing the trail which he started when he was young!
I was happy that I finally woke up this morning when my alarm went off at 5am, and I was able I break camp on schedule at 6:30. The trail went over Lake Britton Dam early on, which I always find a treat when infrastructure and the trail meet. 6 miles in was my first water source at Rock Creek, and although the sun hadn’t found its full strength yet, I decided it was time for a refreshing bath. It felt SO good after so many dry, hot days. I had the Canadian national anthem in my head and was singing out loud, feeling completely comfortable and alone in my element.
There were many water sources along the trail but Halfmile and Guthook’s had such conflicting information in their apps that I didn’t know which one to follow. This led to me carrying too much water when so much was available. I was determined to reach Peavine Creek before I stopped for lunch, but I was already feeling sick from hunger 2 miles out so the final push to get there was a bit of a mental battle. There were also a lot of overgrown parts in this section and many small dirt roads to cross. When I came to one about a mile from the creek my mind almost stopped me from crossing over back onto the trail, because I was so tired of the plants and small flies getting in my face.
I think hunger and being tired played a huge role in my mood slump prior to lunch, so I found a shady spot and dozed for the best part of an hour. You know you’re tired when it takes no time to fall asleep whilst lying on a hard rocky surface. When I woke up I still needed to filter the stagnant water from the creek and tend to my poor aching feet. I was surprised that no one had come past in all this time (unless I was sleeping that soundly I didn’t notice), but it helped me feel like I hadn’t lost too much time whilst napping.
I always find myself hiking in the exposed sections right in the heat of the day. I was sweating off all the sunscreen I’d applied and boiling in the heat. I was praying for another creek to jump into but the ‘creeks’ ahead, like the one at lunch, were really just small ponds.
When I reached the final creek for 9 miles I knew I’d have to stock up to dry camp in between. I was disappointed to find this too was a stagnant pond, and I didn’t even want to wash my feet in it for fear of infection. I sterilised 3 litres of water, so when I put my pack back on, it took at least half a mile for this steam train to get back up to speed.
I had nothing in my head worth thinking about, and had already played the Moulin Rouge soundtrack on repeat in my mind so many times that I decided to make up my own song. Some of my funniest moments on this trip were when UB would bust out a random rap about being on the trail. They would come out of nowhere and were so hilarious I would be so disappointed we didn’t record them. This one’s for you UB!
I stopped hiking a mile short of the campsite I was aiming for because my feet were about to give way. I still made 24 miles and found a cosy spot on top of a hill to cowboy camp again. I’ve got my confidence back and a pile of sticks next to me in case I’m disturbed.
Unfortunately while I was writing this some huge storm clouds blew in, and after seeing lightning in the distance and feeling a few rain drops I quickly set up my tent and crawled inside. At least I’m in for a good nights sleep!