Silver Pass

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.

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Stone steps into water

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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