After our crazy trip getting to a trail head, the next morning dawned bright and fresh. It was chilly out, but my enthusiasm was high. I got up dressed and did all of my physical therapy while waiting for the other two to get up. I waited on breakfast to eat with them. I even brought all our food back to camp.
When they woke and came out of their tents, I was on the second set of stretches for the morning. But we quickly split up our food (we shared a bear can), and dove into our breakfasts. I learned last year that I cannot eat a large breakfast before hiking, so I had peanut butter crackers and dried melon.
When we were packed up and ready to go, we did a few more stretches, went down to the water to refill our water bladders, and strapped on our packs. The hill that we have climbed and descended several times now looked daunting. We hadn’t thought of what it would take to get down the steep bank with our 40lbs of weight on. It was precarious, but no one got hurt. We used my trekking poles and the stumps to help us down.
Back on the trail we met 4 people heading north right away. We had a friendly chat and set off on our way. The girls were in front until I couldn’t keep up any more. My pace is much slower than theirs. Since it was the three of us we tried to keep together. I took the lead for a while. The trail was nice and sunny. Soon I was very warm and had on too many layers. I didn’t want to stop yet and take off a layer, so I continued. We passed many interesting plants and creek beds. Not much water to be seen. We did see a gnome garden in a hollowed stump. We stopped to check it out and take pictures. Next time I come this way, I am bringing a contribution.
We started the day going down and around, but it didn’t take long before we were climbing. The trail wasn’t steep but I had to stop and rest often. Sometimes it was because of the strain and the pace, but eventually it became because I was not feeling well again. It was quite obvious that I had not trained enough this spring for the trip. I was lagging behind and feeling the climb. We climbed up until we came to a logging road. We crossed it and clearly saw the trail on the other side. Then we stopped for the girls to have a snack and to sit without our packs on. I was feeling worse. A couple of times I got up to puke, but it never happened. We rested a while and talked about how this was probably the best place for me to catch a ride if I couldn’t go on. I wanted to go on, but I really was struggling with how I was feeling.
Along the way, I had taken some salt tabs and electrolytes, a chewed several ginger candies, and I drank a lot of water. I was still feeling poorly. We continued along the trail which wound up, down, and around the mountains. We passed great fields and young trees. We could hear the logging trucks at times, but we never saw another person.
Five hours and five miles into the day, I was feeling miserable, and we just weren’t making progress. Something had to change. We stopped for another break without our packs. I decided that I had to eat something since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Just getting the food out of my pack made me vomit. I puked so much water. I knew I wasn’t dehydrated. But after a short shit, I was able to continue on feeling fairly well. Our pace quickly picked up, which was good because the next camping spot was at least 5 miles away. We had to make our 10 miles for the day.
The miles seemed to fly by. We stopped occasionally to rest and finally to eat a few bites of protein bars and crackers. We came into the logging areas where there were many downed trees and slash piles. We talked about the marked trees and the trail. It was devastating to see everything cleared out for miles around.
As the sun started to sink behind the mountains we came across our first crossroads in the trail and the first hikers we saw since heading out in the morning. We talked about camping there since it was cleared and flat, but we were low on water and didn’t want to have to hike to water in the morning. Two miles further, we found water and filled everything and drank some too. We needed to get through the night and several miles further for the next day.
At last, twelve miles from where we started, we found a wide spot in the trail that would fit our three tents. We didn’t care that the trail was right next to my tent. We set up, drank a lot of electrolytes and ate a simple dinner. Too tired to even play games or talk, we crawled into bed.