Day Eighty Eight

Today's miles: 25
Total miles: 1877

Still tired from last night's late hiking, we woke up late at 8:00am. It was a surprisingly cold forty degrees this morning, and very difficult to get out of a warm sleeping bag. I finally dressed and stuck my head out of my tent, shivering with cold. Next to me, Treekiller was lying in his tent with his sleeping bag pulled up to his nose, only a small part of his face exposed. I saw him put his cell phone to his ear and heard him say on his parent's voice mail: "Hey dad. I'm going to need you to mail me back my hat and gloves...."
We laughed as we packed up for the day.

We cruised through the morning as it warmed up. The views of Mt Thielson in the distance were lovely, as well as the lakes that dotted the landscape. All morning Treekiller and Sunshine were pushing over trees, yelling their running total after each one: "NINE!!"

We stopped for a long snack break after six miles and then again at a large river where we soaked our feet in the freezing glacial melt and filled up our water bottles. We went a little further before stopping for lunch; by then it was 3:00pm and we still had 14 miles to do. We knew we had to go quickly to make it to our next water source by dark. Katie and Sunshine took off but my feet were beginning to ache from so many long mileage days. I was hoping they'd stop for another break somewhere in the next 14 miles, but no such luck. I was too stubborn to stop on my own, since every time I considered it, my head said, they've probably stopped just ahead, and if you go a little further you'll join them...

 but no matter how far I walked, they weren't stopped. And so it happened that I hiked for five hours and fourteen miles straight without any breaks. When I reached the campsite at 7:30 I was irritated at myself for being so hard headed, and extremely tired and hungry. The campsite near the water source was filled with our hiking friends: Leaky, Moonshine, Sagi, Birddog, Horny Toad, Lullaby, and a south bounder named Jason who was beyond ecstatic to be camping with other people for a change (I imagine being a south bounder is quite lonely.) I ate dinner, felt much better, and we were all asleep by 9:30.