Sleep is important, in life. But when doing 23 mile days, even more so. Going to bed after 11pm and waking up at 6:30 may seem decent, but not so much.
We snoozed the coyote howls for another 45 minutes to get some much needed shut eye. Unfortunately, it didn't really help much. We're pushing ourselves at a quicker pace than we typically have.
To put it into perspective, the first 600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail averaged about 15 miles per day. This was partially by design as we needed to wait until the Sierras thawed out a bit, but we weren't pushing 20-30 mile days until well after 1,000 miles of hiking.
With 250 miles under our belt at present time, we are already kicking in 22+ mile averages.
Man oh man, did we feel the lack of rest from the last four days of night hiking. Groggy eyed and far from bushy tailed, we slowly sipped our coffee and stared off into the distance as time ticked away.
All said and done, we left camp and started for the day of hiking at 9:30. Well past any standard trail departure. It's not like we had cozy beds and a house full of distractions.
The first three hours were fairly brutal. Our minds were mush and our feet sore. The inner pain has begun, an all too familiar feel.
My blistered feet are one thing. I can push through that discomfort and manage the blisters so they don't get bad. However, the inner foot pain is all it's own. The cause of the 'hiker hobble'. It's a kin to the look and feel of someone who has ridden a horse for a long time, and gets off with stiff legs and an odd gate.
Since we had to boil all our water to sterilize it last night, there was a distinct smoky flavor. Not pleasant. Meaning we sipped the bare minimum.
The day was clear, and the breeze was cool. However, we were in a unique state of discomfort and fatigue.
About 15 miles in, we stumble upon a water cache. Which is entirely necessary. The next water source was over 11 miles away -- too far for us to reach before sunset.
We guzzled as much cool, clear, smoke-free water as we could, and cameled up for a dry camp. Carrying all the extra water was tiring, but necessary. If that cache had been empty, we would have been forced to hitch hike into the nearest town in order to get water.
The second part of the day was a much different tune. We were rehydrated and spirits rejuvenated as the worry of a low mile day and forced hitch was gone.
We put ourselves in a good position for tomorrow, with nearly 24 miles hiked today. In the morning, we will actually wake up early and kick out the 20 miles needed to get to a road and then into a more populated town to get bleach so we can purify our water.
Most importantly, it's 9:30, and time for bed.
Happy 16th birthday to my lil brother Nathan!