Day 2: Struggle Bus

Miles Hiked: 19

Total Milage: 36.25

Location: “Wash”

Last night I got a hole in my sleeping pad almost immediately so I spent the entire night on the hard ground which was VERY frustrating considering it was the first day of a five day stretch.

The morning started with a 0.5 minimum walk back to the actual trail where we would begin a stretch of cross country bushwacking between trail marker signs. It was VERY slow moving and I ended up way off the trail a couple of times because I couldn’t find any trail markers. Everything I touched was very spiky so my legs ended up getting a ton of scratches on them that sting especially with the sun burn as well. Eventually the four of us met up for a short break under a shady tree before some more cross country travel to the next water cache. Shade was extremely minimal. It was about 90 degrees at the heat of the day again.

Around 1pm we made it to a cow water tank that provided about a foot of shade so we all hung out in the shadows. It was here that we met our first other thru hiker named “Rad” . Rad is planning to hike the AT this year as well so I don’t expect to see him after a day or so based off of pace.

Today I realized I made a big mistake by not packing out any electrolytes. My body was cramping absolutely everywhere even though I have been drinking more water than I ever have. I have been carrying about 4-5 liters between every source and it’s been pretty miserable. I still feel like I could drink more if I was able to flavor my water.

After we left the “shady” water tank we had 10 miles to our planned camping spot which is when everything started to fall apart even worse for me than it already was. I knew I hadn’t been able to eat as much as I needed to for the day. I stopped and made dinner because I was so hungry I couldn’t keep hiking. Even Though I was hungry, my appetite was almost non existent. I tried to eat some chili but I was unable to finish it all and immediately felt sick from trying to force myself to eat. I realized I had only eaten about 1500 calories for the day which is about half or less of what I most likely needed. The entire way to camp I was gagging because my stomach felt so weird. I ended up stopping three miles early than the planned spot. When I got there I was still gagging and could barely stomach any more food or water the rest of the night. I’m really worried about tomorrow.

At camp I met two other thru hikers named Marco Polo and Tinker Toy who hiked the AT the same year as me! (2019). They had also done the PCT in 2017? I believe this is their last leg of the Tripple Crown this year! They started a day before me. It was nice to meet new people and know that there are other people out here taking it easy. They reminded me that we can take our time in New Mexico to give the Colorado snow a little more time to melt. For some reason I still feel so much pressure to keep the high daily average I need to finish from the beginning. I keep reminding myself that there should be many days after I’m strong enough that will be 30 miles long.

Jenga ended up stopping early to camp with me as well. He was the one who gave me the idea. He tried to help me patch my sleeping pad when we found an obvious hole using some water to identify air bubbles that indicate a leak. Unfortunately my pad seems to have many holes because it still completely deflated.

The night was extremely windy, just like last night. The wind shaking my tent tends to keep me up along with how uncomfortable the ground is. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t make it to camp with Emma (Itchy) and Zach (Free Fall) but based off the shape I was in, I really needed to stop. My right ankle had been bothering me because of how much I’ve been rolling it and it now has a bruise and is tender to the touch. I have a feeling I might be taking a Nero or Zero in Lordsburg. I really want to give my body a chance to recover before putting it through more but I’m pretty bummed about falling behind my friends on day two. On top of the sore ankle, I’m also getting two blisters on my right foot as well. One of the inside of my heel and one directly under the sole of my foot on my metatarsal joint. They are both pretty painful even though they haven’t completely developed yet. I have been doing preventative treatment on them.

I feel absolutely exhausted from everything that had happened today. I just want to go lay in a real bed and try to eat some “real” food. Hopefully I actually get some good rest tonight.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

3 thoughts on “Day 2: Struggle Bus

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