Day 20: mile 211.7 to mile 226.2

5.5.18. 14.5 miles

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So I did say yesterday was bad, but today was definitely worse. I didn’t sleep very well last night, which was frustrating, and I definitely just woke up in a mood. It was also sad because our hiking group essentially disbanded because some of the boys are just too fast and I can’t keep up that kind of pace/ mileage every day. But everyone needs to hike their own hike, as they say, otherwise you’re not out there for yourself anymore & you start making compromises you may not like.

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The hike this morning was tough. We woke up later than usual which was a mistake because the sun was hot at 7 am. The first climb was just so brutal, and I was so upset and in a mood I practically cried the whole way up. I also cried on the way down. And when I finally practically crawled into the whitewater preserve, I saw a golden retriever and a chocolate lab and I started crying again. That’s when I realized part of my moodiness was homesickness and wanting comfort because of how damn hard the day had been. It is a Saturday today and seeing all of the happy families with dogs and kids hanging out at the preserve and staying cool in the river just made me miss home & weekends. Soaking my feet/ lower legs felt so good. They were on fire walking down to the river. There was also a day hiker who brought ice cold Fanta specifically for thru-hikers and it definitely helped with my mood a bit. Not enough to prevent my mini-meltdown in the lovely flush toilets at the preserve, but it was nice to have something so cold when it was already 80ish at 10 am.

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We hiked for a little longer to try to find shade but there just wasn’t any. We found a small tree after a water source and Kristie & I regretted not taking our siesta at the actual water source. It was so so so so so hot and we were getting dehydrated laying there without drinking anything & trying to make shade with our umbrellas. We decided to hike on at 3 pm in hopes of catching the boys at the next water source in 6 miles but they had pushed on further. The afternoon hike was soooo hard and so hot. I had to listen to music to keep me moving. Thanks Mamma Mia soundtrack and my Disney song collection for keeping me from hurling myself off the cliff. Kristie and I were beat physically and mentally by the time we got to the creek and decided to stop here to camp since there is so much room & water. We also had a nice chat with two other hikers: Medic and Steel. I still meet new people everyday and like talking to them.

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We still have 40 miles to go to get to Big Bear and we are very determined to get there on Monday. We are already planning on staying at least 2 nights, I may need 3. We hope we’ll catch some of the boys tomorrow by waking up super early & hiking by 4 am to beat the heat.

Today was the first day I thought about quitting since being on the trail. It’s hard to explain my mental state today but a combination of exhaustion, sore muscles, burning feet, homesickness, and extreme heat (95-100 today) definitely all combined to play a role. I’m definitely feeling much better now that I’m in my tent, laying down on my sleeping pad, quilt draped over me (it’s still so hot), and I’ve had a snack, dinner, and dessert in my tummy and I’ve been able to replenish my body with water. I’m happy we’ll be following this creek for the next 12 miles- fresh water whenever! We have a big climb tomorrow and I hope my body can handle it. I feel like so many people I’ve met had their body issues during the first week-10 days, but of course mine are coming now? Idk if people just don’t talk about it anymore, but it would be reassuring if others also had super sore quads, hams, calves, and glutes all the time.