Day Ten

Today's miles: 22
Total miles: 137

After a run of good days where I thought I was finally getting my hiker legs under me, today was a rough setback.

The morning started out very chilly. After so many hot nights, a cold one was a nice change, but it also made it difficult to wake up. I set the alarm for 4 but hit snooze until 5.

The early hours of our hike out of the canyon were cool, which was pleasant considering we were slowly gaining elevation. We hopped around on the trail with Rotisserie, TwoBadDogs, and Hitch throughout the morning.

Four hours in my energy levels were starting to flag. The heat was rising and I've noticed that my feet get sore and tired in trail runners after about 10 miles. The muscles in my feet felt every bump and rock on the trail. But I knew we still had three miles to go to our afternoon siesta spot, so I pushed on. But it was a mental game, making myself go farther when I wanted to stop.

By 11:30 we had covered the 13 miles from camp, and came upon the next water source: a water tank next to a trail angel's house. And lo and behold, the trail angel Mike had a nice setup in his backyard where we could sit, eat, and relax in the shade. Tired as I was, it was just what I needed.

Left to Right: Lunchbox, Sneaks, Coincidence, Papa Bear, Tumbleweed, Focus

We hung out with our hiker friends until 3 and then moved on. My feet, after a good rest, weren't feeling as poor, so we aimed to do another 10 miles, since that was the next water source.

It took us another 4 hours to walk the remaining 10 miles, and by then the sun was setting and my feet were so sore that I was hobbling through the final few miles. I was hungry and cranky and having one of those days where I wonder why I'm out here. But an evening spent with hiker friends telling jokes makes it all worth it, even a 23 mile day that leaves my poor feet battered and weary.