Spent another night in the wild without being attacked by beasts ✔️
I sleep pretty well on any given day – I can fall asleep at will, and if I’m tired I’ll lie down, set a timer for 14min and wake up that 14 minutes later feeling right as rain – but I think my prayers helped last night as well. Apparently the mystery animal(s) had been prowling around all night and woken up the fellas more than once. Also, we somehow camped a mile or so out from a freight train line. I had no idea about any of that, and didn’t stir until the sun had risen and two of the three guys around me had already packed up their tents and were getting ready to head out.
I wasn’t in any rush.
I’d passed Speedy last night – his shin splints were giving him grief and he had to camp 10km back – so I figured even if I slept in, I’d be able to fit in a few miles before he caught me, and I did.
There was a creek crossing that also doubled as our last water source for a little ways. I had settled in for my second breakfast whilst there, and the Hong Kong Four rocked up – I thought I had lost them weeks ago, unsure if they were ahead of or behind me. We had a nice little reunion of laughter and hugs, and they told me Speedy was just two minutes away.
That second breakfast, which generally only goes for 15-20min, lasted me an hour and a half with them all there. Since doing such a big day yesterday, I told myself I deserved a slower day today (but still planned on putting some good miles in).
Speedy was not speedy today, he was Greg. If you’ve had shin splints before, you’ll know they are pretty much agony in every step. He took his time, and I went on ahead… only to have another rest an hour in. I deserved it, right?
And lying under that tree was beautiful.
Believe it or not, sometimes walking is just plain boring. It sounds silly, I know, because I see so many phenomenal sights and am having a great time with new friends and learning more about myself too, but there’s also a monotony that sets in.
I don’t like too much routine, and there’s a lot of routine here. You can only listen to the Moana soundtrack or 90’s Love Songs playlist so many times…
I wanted to chat. But chat about home life/real life, and forget how far I have been walking every day. Only trouble is, midday over here is 5AM in Australia, so most of my ‘people’ were asleep. Zoe (in London) couldn’t answer, neither could the girls in Canada, but I saw Justin was online! I forgot he’s in Mexico at the moment, and he was free for a call 🙌🏽❤️
It was actually a way overdue catch up anyway, which doubled to make it such a great timely phone call. I kept walking, and every now and then would describe walking down a path lined by little white flowers, or explained that the noise in the background was trucks passing along the highway beside me, and then I gasped as I created a hill and it opened to a huge, massive, big blue lake.
The wind got pretty bad, and we’d been talking for over an hour already, so said our goodbyes as I continued around the lake.
Down below somewhere, I had heard that the trail met up with picnic tables and a campground and you could call a local place that delivered pizza and beer to hikers there.
God bless America.
I wasn’t actually planning on having any. Tomorrow, we’d come to McDonald’s, so I was saving the fast food for then. Butttttt the Hong Kongers talked me into joining them and Speedy instead of eating ramen, so I did.
It got cold kinda quick.
Sometimes you just don’t see it coming – you’re sweating all day, and then afternoon hits and BAM! it’s less than half the temperature it was an hour ago.
I still had plans to do another few miles. We looked at the maps and water report: from here, was a six mile climb. The next water was fourteen miles away – at McDonald’s. I had had a big day yesterday… I deserved a smaller one today.
So we just camped there instead. I could always set out early tomorrow. Hotcakes!!!! I would definitely set out early tomorrow.
My tent was up and I was climbing in as Dad called me, with Mum and Karen and her boys all dialled in and ready to go – perfect timing, for another nice long family call. Probably a good thing we weren’t in the mountains as well, because I didn’t leave my tent again. Cooking food in your tent is just asking for trouble. I did it anyway. They teased me about holes in my socks and hairy legs.
I told them it’s all part of the adventure.