The alarm was ringing I snoozed it and snoozed it then silenced it until the next alarm rang out.
Groggily I pulled the stopper on my mattress and listened to the hiss . I reached across and unzipped my tent and peered out the sun was just getting up but again it was chilly.
I reached for my puffy and slipped it on and then began to pack up. It’s the same routine every morning
1, Stuff my sleeping bag into its stuff sack and secure.
2, Stuff the stuff sack into the bottom of my pack..zip up.
3, Roll up my mattress and put into stuck sack. Put in pack.
4, Drag pack outside.
5, Remove pegs and unclipped fly from tent. Remove fly.
6, Put on water for tea.
7, Drop tent. Fold up poles put in pole bag.
8, Fold up tent, place fly in middle roll up tent, put in stuff sack. Fold up footprint put in stuff sack. secure tent bag to pack.
9, Water should now be boiling make tea.
10, Put away stove.
11, Put food etc in pack.
13, Hng camp shoes from pack
14, Put water bottles inside pockets add tent poles.
15, Remove puffy put in pack.
16, Put water bladder on top and close pack.
17, Drink tea. Attach cup to pack
18, Put on hat and sunglasses
19, Ready.. hoist up pack
30, Attach Bear spray. Grab poles and head back to trail
Again the morning was cold and I wondered if I should put on a second layer but once again resisted as once I start I do not want to stop.
I hadn’t hone far when I spotted another small tent. It looked like Monks, maybe it was him who came past late last night?
I pushed on down the trail
The next water was 8 miles away and with the morning being cold that should be easy.
The trail was kind for a while then became a climb in fact most of the morning I was a climbing and I was pleased that I wasn’t wearing two layers.
Eventually the trail levelled out but it wasn’t long until I was climbing again and through a maze of blowdowns some were easy others took some working out.
I was some puffing and panting as so stopped for a quick breather Anvil appeared and with his long legs was soon pulling away I’m amazed how he appears to walk through these blowdowns, as he passed by he said trail magic at the lake snail.
Brilliant I thought, I had intended to stop earlier and get water from the spring but trail magic, that sounded much better so I pushed on. It wasn’t long before Anvils partner Special K appeared and she too repeated
“Trail magic at the lake Snail. “
I made a bigger effort to haul myself up the hill , but once at the top I took a quick 5 minutes sat on a rock
It was then that I noticed several other hikers coming up behind me it was Blackout and Ostrich.
We chatted for a few minutes then followed on behind them.
I hadn’t done much further when I caught them all getting water at the spring.
I dropped my pack and filled up 2 litres as this is the last good water for 10 miles. I was just eating a snickers when another familiar face appeared it was Duckie.
We had a huge hug and swapped a few stories.
After the water stop the trail had been rerouted and was fairly easy to walk on I pushed on, in the distance I could see a road and it wouldn’t be long until I reached it.
I began to drop into a small valley as I came up the other side I noticed a large water cache. Fantastic.
I chugged a litre, It tasted good and was cold. Okay to the road.
I was going to be following this for about 5 miles but the lake was in about 1 mile
The sun was now out and it was hot, Phew it was hot and dusty.
I made my way along the road and in the distance on the right was a white van…Trail Magic….
I was here, there was a large white van with a canopy and around the side sat the familiar faces of all who had passed me earlier.
Toasted cheese sandwich “Guru asked
God yes please.
Help yourself to a soda and pancake.
I sat down in the shade with the other hiker trash and listened to the conversations
Guru handed me my toasted cheese sandwich., How can something so simple taste so bloody amazing.
I grabbed a cream soda and an orange and slowly devoured my sandwich followed by my orange washed down with the soda .
I stayed for about 20 minutes, signed his book, thanked him then headed back out to the dusty hot trail.
I hadn’t gone far when a large truck stopped it was the man who looks after the water cache
He asked how it was??
I said it was all good plenty there.
Then thanked him for what he did.
Okay back to the trail. I pushed on but was only planning on doing 20 miles today, Camp short then hitch into town in the morning.
So no need to hurry, after about 4 miles I came across a red and white cooler under a tree with CDT HIKERS written on it I stopped and opened it up.
It was filled with coke, cream soda and water I took out a can sat on the lid and enjoyed the cold liquid.
I then wrote in the book closed the lid and pushed on.
The afternoon seemed to be hotter and with the constant up and downs and navigating over the numerous blowdowns I was beginning too tire.
Halfway up the next hill was a big old fir tree just perfect for a break. I walked over and dropped my pack., plonked myself down and then stuffed myself with Ritz biscuits and cheese, woofed a cereal bar followed by a packet of tuna.
I was saving water to camp with so just sipped a little from my bladder.
Okay let’s go
I seemed to have my energy back but will it last ha ha as it was 5 miles to the trail head although I wasn’t planning to do that.
I was miles away when Anvil appeared .
Howes it going snail he asked.
I’m looking for a flat spot I replied.
Its not that far to the trail head
I know I said, I am planning on camping short and hitch in ,in the morning
Anvil headed off singing to himself.
Okay snail we are good I said to myself, we just need a flat spot. Typical there were none so I pushed on.
There!!, that’s perfect. It’s a bit near the trail but fine for me.
I cleared the ground of broken sticks and fir-cones, laid out my footprint and soon had my tent up.
I was just getting ready to cook when I noticed people heading towards me. It was father and son walking two dogs. We chatted for a few minutes then they headed off on their walk.
Next minute Monk arrived and he too stopped for a chat. he’s not going into Helena but pushing straight through.
Good luck out there and I’m sure we will meet again sometime.
Then 5 course appeared and he too stopped for a chat he’s doing like Monk and pushing through
Then finally Special-k appeared
Did you fall asleep I jokingly asked.
She held up a bottle filled with blueberries and huckleberries.
Wow that’s impressive I said
Okay t-time I cooked dinner then made another cuppa before turning in