I've started dragging again. I want to blame it on my feet: my left shoe gave me a blister, and my busted right Chaco cinches down uncomfortably fast. I think the actual problem is psychological though. I know that I can hike 3 miles an hour, I know that it feels good to hike 3 miles an hour. So why, when I start feeling tired or like a burden, must my hiking pace reflect that and stay at 2 miles an hour for days or weeks?
I'm getting so used to hiking alone that hiking within conversational distance of anyone else for more than an hour becomes tiring. Maybe just tiresome. Mentally, I can handle the stimulation, but I've reverted to the maturity level of a six year old, get bored, and selfishly want to return to my own thoughts. Mine aren't even very interesting.
At a road crossing, Microburst and I ran into a guy on a motorcycle who gave us soda, and all of his snacks and ibuprofen. We talked for a while, and it turned out he'd done some bicycle touring in his days. One day, a French guy stopped him to give him refreshments, and so Arthur's altruism for the road-weary (or trail-weary) began. He even came back to check up on us, just to be sure that our water source down the way was flowing. I definitely feel inspired by all the trail angels we've met along the way, I truly do hope to continue the spirit of magic.
There was some nice rolling terrain for a while, so lovely and d easy, and then switchbacks down, down, down to the Middle Fork of Feather River. I unfortunately missed the "delicious spring" and had to clamber down rocks to get to the river's edge for water.
We camped on Bear Creek bridge, the only flat spot guaranteed for miles. The flatness was nice, the vibrations were not. I slept in the middle of the bridge, and every time somebody turned over, the bridge would shake, and I would sit bolt upright, convinced that there was a bear on the bridge. At 4:30, nature and promise of her mother's food called Sweet 16, so she started getting up. The unzipping noise sounded like a growl to me, I responded with a deep, loud, "Hey!" which scared 16 almost as much as she scared me. I had been lying awake since three, and decided it was a good time for me to get up too. So much for catching up on sleep: 8 hours in two nights.
- Typoed on my iPhone