I had a hard time getting started and didn’t hit the trail until 0630. It seemed like I kept having to stop for this or that, and I felt clumsy, tripping over my clown shoes over and over. But I managed 16 miles in 10 hours, so that’s not too bad. By clown shoes I mean that I have found the best shoes for hiking have a giant toe box area. Normally, I wear a size 9 but these are 11’s. You wouldn’t think an extra few millimeters would trip you up, but it can.
I made it to the top of Silver Pass a little after 11. Got a little lost on the way down, but a quick look at my topo map (yes, I carry paper maps!) and a little easy bushwhacking and I was back on the trail.
I might have gone further, but it looked like there was no place to camp for another five miles and while I was pondering whether to push on or stay, the skies opened up with some serious rain and hail, so I made camp. The “tarp tent” wasn’t so good with the hail, because hail bounces, so it was bouncing up into my shelter. I did what I could with my trekking poles and shoes and local materials (dirt, pine cones, sticks) to block the gap.
One of the nice things about these early camps is that instead of eating dinner and falling into an exhausted sleep, I eat dinner early and then a little later I am hungry again and snack snack snack for hours. Maybe I don’t have too much food after all.
Today was nice because it was more like what I want everyday to be like. If it would have been around 22 miles or less to town I probably would have pushed hard to make it. If it would have been around 30+ miles to town I would have pushed hard to narrow the gap. But 26 was just right where I knew I couldn’t make it, but there was really no need to push. All I had to do was walk all day, taking breaks if I wanted, and I’ll go as far as I go and it will be fine.
I have 13 miles to go to get to town, mostly downhill, so I’m hoping to be there around noon.