Miles hiked: 18.8
Camped at: Robin Bird Spring with Glimmer, Happy Feet, and several other thrus
On a happy note, may I marvel at my Big Agnes tent yet again? So so happy I now have it with me. Room to sit up comfortably, stretch, all my gear has a spot, easy to set up and break down, and perhaps best of all, I don’t worry about it failing. Last night I kept the fly off, and it was so nice to see the stars but yet be protected from the blowing breeze and sand. Ahh, bliss. Fingers crossed my sleep tonight goes better than last night. I should have brought more tissues with me, the snot factory is fine form and purple bandana is struggling despite a ziplock Baggie wash.
Today’s hike was difficult with how I was feeling – so lethargic and hard to breathe consistently with all the congestion and coughing. I’m worried I’m getting worse rather than better – the cough entered a new stage of “rattling” last night :(. The terrain was generally pretty mild today despite a few short but steeper climbs, and temps were cool (I even got hailed on for a few minutes!) but I don’t think I was able to break 2mph all day. Red flag, indeed – I’m slow, but not that slow except when climbing boulder fields in the Whites and in Maine – this terrain is a carpeted dream in comparison. Even worse, the scenery turned stunning with towering pines and boulder fields, but I was hardly able to appreciate it. It’s getting frustrating that except for a day or two at a time, I’ve not felt consistently 100% for over a month now, which is a big bummer. I had first thoughts today about “why am I doing this to myself if I’m not even enjoying the hiking??” Believe me, except for wanting to be done with the sand and the wind (and the windy sand) I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the tremendously diverse areas in SoCal, and am eagerly looking forward to the Sierras, looming for the first time off in the distance. I am having to think, though, that physically there is no way I should be going into the Sierras feeling like this. The PCT is throwing a different curve ball at me – I didn’t really have to deal with a lot of physical problems or limitations on the AT, at least not for long stretches of time. Researching bail options has never bummed me out more than right now. Happily, my fellow hikers are looking out for me, and so encouraging, it’s so heartwarming!