1,054.5 miles hiked
I sleep hard in my small stuffy net while the orange sun drops low in the trees, finally disappears. I wake up at dawn, feeling hungover. Weird. What did I do. I stand up and am so dizzy I almost fall over. Huh. Why am I dizzy? Is it giardia? Did I finally catch something from all the unfiltered water I’ve been drinking? But my poop is normal.
All day I’m dizzy. I stop to get water and I’m dizzy. I eat a snack and I’m dizzy. I’m dizzy going uphill. I have no idea what is wrong with me. I’m crushing, though, otherwise- it’s not very fun to take breaks when I’m by myself. Boring third-growth pine forest all day- up and down, up and down. I feel bored. I keep walking.
There’s a newish looking stretch of trail along the divide that’s not on guthook or the Ley maps but has lots of nice CDT markers. I follow it in the afternoon as clouds coalesce on the horizon. Thunder claps but there is no rain. Finally it begins to sprinkle a little, washing away the heat. I put on my rain jacket and march happily in this cool drizzle.
I’d planned to camp at 29 miles, but the water source there turns out to be some standing, rust colored water with an oily sheen on top. Fuck, I say, squatting over the water in the drizzle. I’m tired and I want to make dinner. No matter, the Anaconda cutoff, which will take me to Anaconda where I’ll resupply, starts in three miles and that should be easy walking on a dirt road. I’ve been following the boys’ footprints all day- now in the dust of the road I see the chevrons of Track Meat’s altras, the tetris pieces of Spark’s solomons. Mehap’s cascadia stripes, just like mine. I wonder where they are? After a mile the alternate begins to follow a stream and I get water there, climb way up on a ridge to camp. The horizon turns rosy as the sun sinks and I cook my noodles. I see what looks like a UFO on the horizon- I’ll learn tomorrow that it’s just Venus and Jupiter, in alignment for the first time in 200 years.
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