CDT day 45: horse trails and grizzly tracks

June 18
Mileage 31
820.5 miles hikes

I have a dream that I went to sleep on a steep slope with my head pointed downhill and when I wake up I realize this is true. Also the claustrophobic mosquito net that hangs inside of my tarp (I have a new zpacks tarp now, it is so awesome!) has fallen onto my face.

I’m so tired today. What is wrong with me? I’m hiking through a dim pine forest feeling half awake, averaging like 2mph. The trail looks like it was once deep mud, and then a bunch of horses stepped in it. Now it’s this convoluted uneven surface, and I swear there’s nowhere to put my feet. Every step feels like it’s trying to twist my shoe off. And blowdowns! So many blowdowns like explosions of sharp sticks, picking my way across them, tearing my legs all to heck. Stream crossings every half-mile, my heels bloody from being rubbed by my wet shoes. The back of my shoes stained pink.

And grizzly prints! The forest is full of mysterious beasts.

I’ve stopped treating my water. I just want to be able to drink it without getting sick, like every other hiker I know. I fill my grimy gatorade bottle at an icy stream and I just drink. Let’s do a scientific experiment, everyone. How long does it take for giardia to set in? Two weeks?

Camp is on a rocky bench next to a stream that flows through a flat, green valley. I roll in with Track Meat. Spark is already there- he took the wrong trail for a ways and then bushwhacked when he realized he was off trail, cutting off a mile or so. I make my hot rice dinner and rinse my legs in the cold water. Tired. I am so tired today.

Photos on instagram.