Day 100: A long long time

Miles Hiked: 30.7

Total Milage: 1658.6

This morning I didn’t even open my eyes until 6am which is the first time it’s happened on the whole trail. I realized it was late and started getting ready as fast as I could because I knew we had a big day ahead of us. 12 pack and I left camp together around 6:50 am. The first couple of miles were all downhill. It was a nice way to start the morning and get some miles in very quickly. I took a break at a stream about three miles in to eat some breakfast. Just before it, I ran in to the first SOBO hiker I’ve seen on the whole trail. It was a 50 year old man with an extremely large pack. I was shocked to see someone this early. 12 pack found out that he started about a month and a week ago which is crazy. He has to be way ahead of the pack I assume and hiking a very high Milage everyday. He didn’t have a trail name which makes sense because I assume he hasn’t seen many hikers since he started.

When we got to the bottom of the valley that we would follow for quite a long time today, there was a very large and wide stream/river with turquoise blue water. It was so cool to see. 12 pack and I think it was so blue because it could possibly be glacial run off. I’m not really sure how that works but I saw some glaciers marked on the map on the other side of some mountains we walked by. I assume that most of them have melted by now but that’s something I’ll have to look up when I have internet. We took a nice break in front of one of the Green River Lakes and relaxed for a little bit before continuing. After we finished the glorious first 12 miles of downhill and rolling flats, we stared a climb up towards gunsight pass. It was incredibly hot today and I wanted to get into one of the lakes so bad. Near the shores of one of the lakes we saw the second badger of the whole trail! It looked really mean. We passed by lots of day hikers at one of the lakes and a few of them asked us where we were going or where we came from. It felt surreal to finally be able to say that I walked here from Mexico. I wondered if any of them could tell I had been hiking for 100 days because I certainly feel like it.

On the very beginning of climb up gunsight pass we were going through a completely exposed field uphill. It felt Like the sun was roasting me. When we reached a patch of trees with an amazing stream with cold flowing water we stopped for a break. I literally stuck my whole head in the stream and it felt great. The rest of the climb felt so exhausting. We eventually entered some trees but so many of them were blown down and climbing up over and around them all took so much time and energy. At one point we made a wrong turn and walked 0.8 extra miles that didn’t even count. It’s so easy to get on the wrong trail all the time out here. I hate having to constantly check my map to make sure I’m going the right way. I often wonder what it would be like to hike this with only paper maps and a compass. Probably extremely time consuming.

At the top of Gunsight Pass I felt absolutely exhausted. It was mile 22 of the day. Luckily the rest was all downhill and sort of rolling flats again. That pass was the only big climb and it felt good to be at the top. I finished my 700 calorie Green Belly bar. My parents gave me some awesome food for this week and I’m so thankful because I needed it so bad. The rest of the day felt so long to me. Luckily I had someone to follow and keep my going. I ended up getting so paranoid about grizzly bears at the end because I know they are in the area and I really do not want to see one at all. To end the day there were lots more blown down trees to climb over and then we entered an area that reminded me of the Basin with a lot of shoulder high green vegetation I thought bears could be hiding in. For dinner I had a great breakfast skillet with extra protein. It looked like rain would blow in on us right before camp but we got lucky. It was almost 9pm by the time we reached the dirt road we were camping by. I saw a car and wished someone would come out of it and hand me a cold drink so bad. Once I got my tent up, the mosquitoes started swarming all around it. I can hear them buzzing right outside my netting as I type this. I absolutely hate that sound it drives me nuts. It’s 10pm and I’m so tired I can’t believe I actually wrote any of this tonight but it’s worth it to keep up with my writing as much as I wish I fell asleep a half hour ago.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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