I wake at 8:30 – oh, the luxury! – to a bustling mass of tents under the cottonwood tree. The first thing I do is pack up, put my tent away so I’m not tempted to stay another evening. I am going to nero, though – head out around 4:30 to avoid the heat, go five or six miles – there’re a bunch of sites in that vicinity. And until then, it’ll be so, so nice to spend a day resting in the company of hikers!
In between chats I’m wheedling down my pack, getting rid of trash and other things, eating breakfast and lunch out of the hiker box. I soak my feet for a bit, not knowing if that’ll give me blisters. I write two blog posts and a post for Backpacker, and manage (I think) not to bogard the computer too much. I charge all my electronics. And I sit. Oh, glorious sitting. So seemingly little fills such a long day!
When the time rolls around for me to depart, I’m delayed by the fact that there’s no water in the well and the pup’s overheating. I need water, so I hang out until 5:30 before I’m actually ready to pull chocks.
And then, I have to go – none of this long goodbye stuff, I’ll see y’all up the trail. Pulling the bandaid off slowly is way more painful.
It’s still hot somehow – we’re still in the meadow for a bit – but the trail meanders down into a valley with a creek and a lot of trees.
As the sun drops out of sight, I settle into camp for the night, skip the rain fly – it’s nice out.
Liz and Riane catch up; we chat until they need to go set up, what with the fading light and all. Ayesha passes by again, sets up near the two Ryans. I stare through the fine mesh of my tent and the tree above me at the sky until I can’t keep my eyes open.
Start: 109.5 • End: 114.9 • Day: 5.4
Notable Accomplishments: Escaped my first town • Wrote! • Survived the heat