Day 18: This Is SPARTA!
Aka mile 300
Start: 285.57 little bear spring trail camp
End: 300.92 bush camp
Fitbit: 41,082 Steps
Disorganized morning. Between buttoning up camp, cooking, and filtering water, it took me 2:20 to get going. Which means 8 o’clock.
While I started pretty much the same time as the others, I ended up hiking most of the first 90 minutes alone. Fairly easy terrain, but clearly wasn’t hiking strongly. My feet were complaining. Mia and Hugo caught up while I was taking a break, and then Squirrel and Clockwork passed us. I caught up to them 20 minutes later, and spent the rest of the day tagging along.
Clockwork sets their pace, it is a nice steady pace that never really changes. That, and they take a break after two hours consistently. Perfect for me, when I am not feeling strong and need to make at least 15 miles.
Their goal today was mile 300. We took a break a couple miles short at a very pleasant little river with a sandy bottom. It felt SO good on my feet. I loaded up with 5.5 liters of water, a lot more than I need, and ended up drinking about three liters of it before bedtime (including for dinner).
After a day of smooth rolling hills with camps everywhere, of course the terrain was completely inhospitable to camping near the 300 mile mark. I started worrying we would have to go to the hotsprings around 306, but we lucked out and found a decent enough bush camp about a mile later. A few people scouted the river for camp sites 1/2 mile ahead and came back reporting mosquito frenzy. So the bush camp it is.
At least 8 people ended up camping here… It is really the only game in town.
Topic that came up today: “Don’t you get bored on trail? Do you need to listen to a book or podcast to help with that?”
Actually no. While it may seem monotonous, I have found I do not like listening to my audiobooks on trail because they pull my mind off trail and I feel like I am missing out. Unlike tasks in the real world, my mind stays engaged and active — not always on the trail, but on something. Sure when I am really tired I autopilot a bit, but that is exhaustion, not boredom. For the most part, my brain is always active and engaged.
There is still one good use for podcasts/audiobooks… If I am having a miserable time and need to keep going anyway (foot pain, or the wind that forced me in to a 21 mile day when I had no desire to go beyond 14 miles etc…) then pulling my mind into a story is a good way to do that … If I don’t have someone to socialize with.
Frosty tent and bag: