It took a few attempts to get up but I was on trail just before seven and was so looking forward to my first climb.
But before I got there I had about 1 mile of decent. It was a cool morning and I really could of done with an extra layer,but then I didnt want to have to stop to take it off when I warmed up.
As I pushed on down the trail I was surprised on how many bridge’s I had to cross. Some where over dried up steams but then laughed when I got to a wide creek with no bridge.
Okay the climb , it was long and steep luckily it was still overcast or rather the sun hadn’t reached the valley yet and in places there were switchbacks.
It took me about an hour to reach the top and as I did so did the sun . I took a quick 15 mins before starting the decent.
The start was extremely steep and my favourite tred of gravel. I inched my way down until I gained confidence to speed up .The down seemed well designed with sensible switchbacks .
I spiralled downfor at least 20 minutes until I could see the lake.i thought I’d take 20 minutes break when I reached it .
Wow what another gorgeous lake. Since starting in April I have seen countless lakes all with their own beauty.
I sat on a huge log and stared at the lake for a few minutes.
I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t make it here yesterday but that would have taken another two hours and it would have been dark.
So better to do it now on fresh legs.
Okay back to the trail and guess what its another up and yes another long and steep up.
I set off once again its started friendly enough before getting steeper,but then there where switchbacks but these were long snaking away in the distance.
Eventually I needed to stop for a break before I collapsed.
I dropped my pack, sat on a rock and chugged water.
All of a sudden there was a huge bang. I thought it was an aircraft then I noticed a huge slab of rock fall from the side of the mountain sending clouds of dust into the air. I missed it fall but got the dust cloud….(maybe)
Okay snail too the top. I huffed and puffed my way to the top.
Paused to stare at the amazing scenery then headed straight down the other side.
But this side was more friendly ( not so steep) I was almost racing down the meadering trail.
At last it leveled out and I was in a open forest meeting clumsy partridges who were not sure how to get out of my way.
As I continued I kept looking St the sky to my left bright blue with sunshine to my right as black as the ace if spades.
Then it became all blue and began to warm up even more
As I crossed over a small brook I decided to take lunch and dry my tent .
I dropped my pack and removed my tent roll removed the flysheet and lay it out on the grass.
I sat nearby and removed my socks and shoes. I then made a cup of soup. I had carried soup packets for a while but it never seemed right to make one.
Mmm it was very tasty but maybe next time I’ll use two packets.
I was just reaxing when it began to rain .
REALLY… I quickly packed everything up including my half dry fly.
Well that was a crap break. I hoisted my pack and set off down the trail and in 4 minutes the sun returned and began to roast me.
Mad bloody weather
I began to head down again down a lovely trail . I like this type of trail ,light sandy mud, wide. no rocks or roots.
In fact I was flying or maybe it just seemed that way..until I came to my third climb and began to slow. Eventually I had reached yet another top.
I hadn’t said but my app is playing up. I thought I checked it before leaving Darby. But it’s not giving me milage to locations.
So it will tell me what mile I am at.but if I click on the next water icon. There is no information.
It should say 2.5 miles ahead.
So I do not know how far it is ..
Which is a pain. Or planning ahead I would like to know how far ahead is the junction I want
So then I can pace myself.
I will reload the map when I get to town, hopefully that will fix it.
Luckily I carry a spare phone so I turned it on.
It was 15 miles to the junction .
So I round it up to 16 and divide by 2 which equals 8 or 8 hrs.
So my target is 6 pm
But again this also depends on the terrain and I know I have at least 2 more big climbs
So back to the trail and my next climb. Then once again the trail meanders through the woods until my final climb and this one is steep. Halfway up the rain returns. I quickly shelter under a tree and put on my rain jacket.
I wait for 10 minutes until
the rain eases before setting off once more.
Once again I am thankful that there are switchbacks. Left…. right…..left and then I emerge onto a meadow. The trail goes straight acroos and ahead I can see the trail snake up the side of the mountain opposite me.
I hope that’s the last. As I’m running out of omph.
At last Im up .it grassy and trails head in different directions.
This was my goal for today and anything else would be a bonus.
I can see the trail I want snake around the side of another mountain opposite.
I check my watch its 6.30.
Shall I pushed on or….. .
No I’ll camp here and push tomorrow. It’s 27 miles to town or pass I can’t recall which.
So I can start early and do another 18 miles then cruise into town the day after .
That sounded good to me.
I managed to find a reasonable flat spot with some trees.
I dropped my pack and soon had my ground sheet pegged out.
I put up my tent ,then turned it upside down as it was still wet on the bottom. Lastly I laid out my flysheet again to finish drying
I then i assembled my stove and began cooking dinner.
Wow 20 miles not bad
Night all .