16 March 2022
AZT Mile 15 to 39
After yesterday’s big climb, today was supposed to be easy. And the morning was indeed delightful, but the afternoon was a bit tough for me emotionally.
I left before Butterfingers this morning and hiked solo for a while, seeing turkeys, deer, a windmill, and Parker Lake.
Butterfingers leapfrogged me at Parker Canyon, our nicest water source so far.
The next water source wasn’t so nice, so we skipped it for an only-slightly-less-disgusting fetid pool of stagnant water in the creek bed nearby.
We hiked solo for a while and my thoughts turned a bit dark. What am I doing out here? Why are mornings so nice and afternoons so hard? It’s hot! And windy! My knee hurts! Why do I think I can be a thru-hiker? I miss my wife.
And then I caught up with Butterfingers again. It was nice to have someone I could share my thoughts with. It really helped.
We planned to call it a day at a water source after 22 miles of hiking. But the area was in the heart of a cattle ranch. There was nothing but poop all around!
So we kept hiking. And it kept getting darker. And still…. Poop!
After almost 2 miles we eventually found a place with less poop that worked out okay, but it was definitely hard, rocky, and exposed.
Fortunately the strong winds of the day quieted down as we ate dinner under the full moon and the cows mooed in the distance.
My head is a trap
Unlocked only by the gift
Of a third person