I woke around 330a and started hiking by 430. I only had to use my headlamp for 30-45 min. I always love the mornings. The temperature is always perfect and I love watching the sunrise. This time it was rising behind a bunch of windmills. I walked past SO many people sleeping, many cowboy campers. It's crazy to see how many people are ahead of you. It was so pretty today, we went under lots of trees and meadows with long grass. I took my first break at around mile 11. It wasn't a super good rest spot but my feet were starting to hurt. Lana and Bomber came by and took a break with me. I love them so much, they are so funny. Bomber is currently a guide for Whittaker Mountaineering at Rainier and lives in Ashford. I love talking to him, he always has so much insight.
I took about an hour break but wasn't too great since I didn't get to lay down but I hiked on to the bottom of another climb. I finally got to lay down and take a small nap before carrying on. Man, any up hills at the end of the day just KILLS me. We finally reached the next water source and filled up just a little. I still had an extra liter or so left from the morning. You can save so much if you start early! Not much entertainment today. I was so exhausted. This section is sucking me dry. So hot and heavy. My shoulders and ankles hurt pretty bad. Nothing really exciting today. The most eventful thing was probably seeing poodle dog again. They are back to haunt us. I was so shocked bc I thought I'd never see them again but this time they were super fresh with flowers blooming. So contagious!
Me and GB are cowboy camping off to the side of the trail. I was so so happy to get into my sleeping bag. So soft and puffy. I read GB some excerpts from some past blog entries and laughed about them. It is such entertainment. I realized I never wrote about the first time I met him maybe bc it wasn't very memorable jk. I'm not sure what mile it is around but it was that first rainy day we had right before paradise valley cafe. It was early morning and I walked up to the water tank outside of mikes place and see this kid in the fog filling up a ton of water. I had asked him to take a pic of me in my poncho to send to zpacks haha. Turns out his name was Sean from Sacramento. His girlfriend, Thia, is back home but is also his full support team sending him packages of maps and healthy things. I'm excited to meet her this summer if we're still all together. They've already elected me to be their wedding photographer in the future. :) I had come back up from mikes and he was still filling up water. From there, I had learned that he is paranoid about water and likes to carry a lot. Who would've thought after so many miles, we'd become trail bffs, but no commitments. Jack Haskel, a friend of GB's who works for PCTA asked if we wanted to collaborate on a blog for them. I know OF Jack but have never met him before. So I've been brainstorming different content ideas throughout the day. I want it to be honest, interesting and encouraging. I had to admit to GB I actually liked hiking with him. I had always seen myself as a solo hiker and have become pretty proud about it so it was humbling to finally admit that to him. I mean I still hike alone for most of day but knowing you have someone behind or after you is nice. Or just having someone to recap the day is fun. But also bc I think we already know each other pretty well and don't have to do small talk, which is so draining. We can hang out and not say anything. Meeting someone everyday and wanting to be engaged is pretty exhausting, especially after a long day. I don't know how all those people socialize when they get to camp. Tomorrow is going to be crazy bc we have a 42 mile water carry. Hooray. Early to bed, early to rise. Night night.