Day 115: Blazing Hot Ridgelines

Miles Hiked: 19

Total Milage: 1959.6

Today I woke up still sleepy. Because the RV park was so close to the interstate I could hear very loud semi trucks going by all night and it kept me up. My tent was still soaking wet from all the rain yesterday. I ate some food for breakfast and made sure all my batteries were charged. We had the option to leave at 9am or 11:30am on a shuttle. I chose to leave at 11:30am because I wanted a little bit more rest and I wanted to plan some stuff out for the next few towns. I ended up figuring out the next place to ship a box to and all the towns that we have left to stop in! I will be going to about 8-9 more towns which is crazy! It really makes me feel a lot better about getting to the end. Knowing each town and how far it is in between them gives me something to look forward to and it also lets me think of the trail in smaller chunks vs the massive distance I still have left to cover. The other nice thing about staying in town so late is that I got to make sure my tent was dry and that my pack is very organized. Before we left I also found a way to shove some extra foam in my hip belt so that it will fit more snugly. Another thing I did before leaving town was sign my old shoes and throw them on the shoe tree they had! I was glad I got my new shoes there on coincidence. It was cool to get to put my worn out holy shoes on a piece of history instead of the trash.

Our shuttle took us out to trail at 11:30as promised. He dropped us off on the side of the interstate and we continued walking north from where we left off. The first 8ish miles of the day were on a gravel road. We passed by some sheep that were fenced in with dogs to protect them. I’m so glad the dogs were behind a fence because they were barking and being very aggressive towards us as we were walking by. One of the dogs didn’t stop barking for about 15 minutes. They looked super mean too. I was chugging as much water as I could to make sure I was very hydrated and to lessen my pack weight. After the stream in 7 miles there won’t be water for almost 13-14 more miles after that. Ironically enough, just as my pack was finally beginning to feel a little more comfortable, a very nice rancher pulled over and gave 12 pack and I some ice cold water! I was laughing because any other time this would have been amazing. It still was awesome to get cold water but I had just been chugging so much right before hand and trying to empty my bottles on purpose and they ended up getting filled up again before I planned for it. It was still incredibly nice for someone to hand me water I just thought it was funny. We ended up having a half hour conversation before moving on. I was so glad I took my pack off to talk. One of my biggest pet peeves is standing around and talking while my pack is still on my back because it usually is just killing my back, feet, and legs the whole time since I’m not moving.

When we got to our water source before the big climb up the ridge we will be on for pretty much the rest of the day, there were cows and poop everywhere. I wasn’t too keen on collecting that water even though I have my filter. I was glad the rancher gave me some extra water but 12 pack and I decided to take a road alternate that stays low in the valley and has a much better water source before gaining the ridge. The next water source was flowing awesome. I think most hikers will only do the last half of the ridge just because the water situation is so bad. We met a SOBO who goes by the name “My trail name is Jessie” there. After the water source, we began to climb up the ridge. It was very steep hot and exposed and would be for the rest of the day. The ridge was absolutely incredible. It was awesome to be so high up with a view. The climbs on the ridge were definitely really hard. I was hiking extra slow with my heavy pack freshly loaded up from town. I was originally planning on dropping off the ridge to the final water source of the day and camping there but I was going so slow that I didn’t end up making it. The ridge was amazing to see during sun set! I could heave coyotes howling in the valley and I even saw a herd of elk run straight up to the edge of the divide and look over before running away. Tonight was the first and probably only night for the rest of the trail that I didn’t hang my food bag. There were absolutely no trees to hang it anywhere! We were so high up on the ridge I figured no animals would come to mess with me up there.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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