Being pushed to your limits is something you expect when you are faced with thousands of miles of trekking through the most rugged, isolated and epic wilderness in America, but when you are pushed beyond your "growing zone" of activity and into the "danger zone" you better keep your head on your shoulders- or suffer the consequences...
Yesterday when Dusty couldn't find us (camel & wiz) we had accidentally motored past the rendezvous spot. Thinking we had gone too far we consulted another thru-hiker with a gps. He told us we were about a mile and change from the proposed spot. Figuring we had a slow pace due to thousands of feet of ascending we continued on- without enough water. It turned out he was wrong about the location and we trudged on for four more miles before we could find a water source, which was a horrible 500 foot descend down to a shitty cow pasture. Dehydrated, sore and frustrated we went to sleep after our 28-mile day...
Waiting till the guys caught up the next morning, the reunion was met with frustration. After some shouting and venting everyone hugged it out and so we trekked on. My body was still feeling the miles from yesterday and the severe lack of water, not to mention a little elevation sickness with nose bleeds, dizziness and a slight headache. This was supposed to be the best part of the trail and we all felt horrible.
With this came the realization that we were going too hard. We had pushed it to hard on most the first half of the AT and suffered the consequences later on in the trail. Why were we pushing 20+ mile days in the sierras, the most scenic and beautiful part of the trail? So, the lesson has been learned and our minds and bodies have been checked. We will lower our miles back to what they were pre-sierras and enjoy the trail instead of cursing it. Breaking into earlier camps and giving ourselves more time to recover from the ascents, snow and constant navigating.
We are camped out, fifty miles into this new landscape, a raging snow melt rushes past camp and just above us is a beautifully moonlit mountain. We are reminded why we're out here- to seek adventure, enjoy breathtaking landscapes and discover new pieces of our moral and physical fiber along the way.