Miles: 25.58
Camping: PCT mile1692.37

Waking up in my tent I was reminded how well I sleep on trail. It has come down to getting my most restful sleep on my 1″ foam pad on the ground, as opposed to cushy town beds. I’m not sure how I made the transition from my memory foam back home to this, but I am happy that I sleep so well on trail. It’s funny to think back on those early days, how the transition wasn’t seamless, how my hips would hurt all morning. Now I feel so seasoned, so functional, like this is all I ever knew.

Angles and I set out of camp around 7am after cold oats, coffee and conversation. It was straight uphill right off the bat and my legs met the challenge, happy to be moving again. My body has really come to appreciate and thrive on the daily routine of exercise. If only my feet would keep up with the rest of me…I’d be halfway through Oregon by now. This morning, my feet gave me no issue, moving along as they were designed to do. It felt great to be hiking, and amazingly the smoke stayed off in the distance, leaving our lungs alone.

All of the water we crossed today was spring fed, which was lucky for me. My water squeeze bladder has a new hole making filtration a timely chore. I decided that I wouldn’t filter any of this water running straight from the ground. It tasted divine, especially without the added labor required to filter it and it freed up time to enjoy the views. Though many of the vistas lended their beauty to the smoke caused by forest fires I couldn’t help but appreciate them. Smoke filled valleys stacked themselves up against the horizon, mountains peaking out of the thick plumes and stagnant wisps. It was rather mystical and enchanting in a way.

We stopped for lunch about 13 miles into our day, my feet still feeling okay. They were slightly sore, but more in the sense of adapting to walking again after days of rest than the pain I was experiencing prior. I kept on in hope that that would remain the case, which it was until late afternoon. My feet grew tired long before the rest of me, and the soreness amplified in time. It wasn’t that bad though. It seemed as if I could endure, as long as it didn’t get much worse. I just have to make it to Ashland where I will get some insoles and some Chacos. That combination should do the trick, it has to. It is the only way I will finish this walk.

Angles and I got to our camp around 6:30, a nice early arrival time. It makes everything a little more pleasant to add some extra down time at the end of the day as opposed to strictly tending to camp chores and sleeping. This allowed for some great dinner conversation which was interrupted by a bear running into the woods behind camp. We yelled after it, telling it we were scary and would not be messed with! It is best to frighten bears, and hopefully they don’t come back to challenge our fighting words. It was my 4th bear of the trip, and they have all run off in one way or another, confirming that they aren’t aggressive in these parts.

After dinner I decided it would be nice to retire to my tent early to write my blog and read some more of my book. It’s a quiet and warm evening, and after a 25+ mile day, I feel pretty good. My feet didn’t raise too much protest today, and after we climbed almost 7,000 ft of elevation, my body is feeling justifiably tired. Everything feels as it should, and I will keep hopeful that it remains so. We are a mere 6.5 miles from Oregon, and I’m SO excited! Until then…