Mile 1748.2 to 1779.

The days are starting to get noticeably shorter, and it is now dark at our usual wake up time of 5:30.

As my alarm went off, I struggled to find my watch. I had been in a deep sleep and was a little groggy. When I finally got it to turn off, I wasn’t ready to move yet. I looked over at Bedazzled. She was eyeing me. Trying to will me not to get up. I gave in and rolled over. It looks like we won’t be getting started until 6:00 this morning.

We walked 4.5 mile to our first water source of the day, and I swear it took us two hours. We were dragging. For the last couple days, I have had absolutely no energy in the mornings. I have just been moving on willpower alone. I think my body has used up all the reserves it had and there is simply nothing left. I think my drop in weight confirms this. There is simply nothing left to burn, except for what I put in. Therein lies the problem, I think. I haven’t adjusted my breakfast this whole trip. It has always been a packet of  Poptarts. My guess is that this and some bars in the morning isn’t cutting it.

As we made our way through the monotonous forest to the next water source, I wondered if we would ever get some nice views again. Each step was an effort and my mind wandered to bad places. I wondered if this is what the rest of the trail is going to be like.

We loaded up at the water for a 10 mile water less stretch and put foot in front of foot. I read in the Guthook’s PCT app that the next seven or so miles were through lava rocks. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when we arrived at our first field, I was relieved to see a nice path leading through it.  Thank you trail maintenance gods!

As the heat of the day came upon us, we hopped in and out of lava fields with little breaks of forest in between. I had a new found appreciation for the shade the trees provided as the lava fields were fully exposed.

Not before too long, Mt. McLoughlin showed itself in the distance. As we crossed the lava fields, it was a welcome site. Perhaps Oregon has a few cards up its sleeve.

Eventually we made it through the lava fields and to our last water source for the day. We carried enough water for a dry camp and set out to cover the last 7 miles of the day. We immediately ran into a bunch of prime raspberries lining the trail. We couldn’t help ourselves and enjoyed the best raspberries of the trail so far.

After lunch, Bedazzled and I were feeling so much better. We had the energy we needed to finish strong. I even fired up my German lessons and listened to them for the better part of the afternoon. Every once in a while, I would turn around and yell a random German word at Bedazzled. She was very confused, but I didn’t mind.

We finished the day at 7:20. My fuel canister is almost out so I decided to make the plain couscous that Bedazzled bought me during our game of resupply roulette. You only have to bring the water to a boil and then add the couscous. As I took my first bite, I tasted nothing, but my mouth was curiously dry. I took another bite and glared at Bedazzled. I knew there was something in my mouth, but all I could tell was that my mouth was as dry as the Mojave Desert and something was stuck in my throat. Each successive bite required me to wash it down with water, otherwise, I was sure to choke, die, and end my hike. Thanks Bedazzled. Thanks a lot.

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