Tuesday 21st June
Start: Bushcamp, mile 1728
End: Hyatt Lake Resort
Total miles: 13.4
Today ended with a frantic power walk along Hyatt Prairie Road road in the blazing sun. The longest 1.4 miles of my life. We had to make it to Hyatt Lake Resort before they closed at 5pm. On the promise of a hot meal from their cafe, but more importantly to collect a resupply box – basically if we hadn’t of made it we would have gone hungry tonight. Success came at a cost – burning feet and Conrad’s butt chaff issues – but we made it with just 20 minutes to spare!
The reason it had taken us all day to walk 13.4 miles? We are baffled. I guess the fact that we still don’t have this camping lark down yet didn’t help. From our alarm going off at 7am it had taken us nearly 2.5 hours to leave camp! That’s a poor effort. We must get better than that. Even Maya the dog caught us up eventually and Brandon is carrying a 70lb pack and left camp after us! Why are we so slow?! We don’t feel like we’re cruising along or even breaking much. I only hope that trail fitness finds us quick!
The scenery today was much the same as yesterday. We were in and out of pine forest, climbing up and down at around 5000 feet. In the sections of older growth forest it feels darker as the thick canopy of tall trees block out the light leaving the lower branches dead and stark. The floor is coated in pine needles and cones. A few fallen trees sometimes blocked the trail, that’s one good excuse for being slow at least.
To our list of hiking buddies we added a new member – Joel from Portland. He started hiking Oregon last night and hopes to complete it in 20 days! Yikes. We couldn’t have been going too slow as we kept catching up with him for chats. Lucky all these nice people keep finding us, as after 6 weeks in the US together what is there left for Conrad and I to say to each other?!
Despite the difficulties faced today I think we both [secretly] still enjoyed ourselves. It is invigorating to be out here. That said, what has made my day is a hot shower and a pizza! The simple things. Also it may only be day 2 but we couldn’t resist the opportunity for a real bed and to not have to erect a tent tonight…