Day 104: (17.8 miles)
mile 1423.6 – 1441.44
Alarm goes off and I assess how I’m feeling. I’m not particularly hungry but I choke down an apple pie and a chocolate protein drink. Seeing as both stayed put and I don’t feel any worse, we pack up. Today, my friend from work, and fly fishing, is joining us for a portion of the trail, and may go on her own for a section. Two days before, whilst I reclined on the couch sipping Ginger ale, we went through her pack. By the time we were done, her pack weighed at least 5lbs less. While appreciative, she was reluctant to let some things go but did in the end, with the exception of her camp chair. All dressed up and ready to go we headed out to the trail. I guess we will find out in a few miles or so if this was a good idea. I lead and set a pace I’m comfortable with. I don’t feel bad but I definitely don’t feel 100%, more like 70%. It’s hot and when we break for lunch I have no urge to eat, but I make sure I hydrate.
The terrain is easy on the feet and relatively easy with some mild climbs for which I am happy. It was mostly uneventful with the exception of two things. #1- we saw Neef, a Swedish thru-hiker early on the trail heading in our direction. He looked like $#:! We pointed out the obvious that he was going the wrong way, and his response was a look of get the “F” out of my way. I asked, Giardia? “Yes”, he replied, eyes vacant and face ashen. Make sure you get antibiotics and see a doctor when you get to town, I say. “Yes”, he replies as he moves quickly down the trail. Later when we stop for a break we all remark that each of us was thinking, ‘one of us should go with him to make sure he makes it into town’, but each of us had failed to communicate that to each other…lesson learned (he made it safely we heard…phew!). #2 – Donna earned herself a trail name, “Timber”, as she somehow tripped over a small rock during a flat section and took a hard fall. Her impact with mother earth was like that of a felled tree. Not sure she’s “happy” with the name though. Finally someone as clumsy as me! We ended the day by a spring, as I was bushed and could go no further. 17.8 miles on day three of antibiotics for Giardia, not bad I suppose. It’s everything I can do though to choke down some food to replace at least some of the calories I’ve burned today.