CDT day 117: late starts and fidgety days

August 29
Mileage: 22
2,266 miles hiked

Today is not my day. For one, I sleep in super late, cozy in my tarp in the dim cool forest, and don’t start hiking until 8:30 a.m. On a long trail, 8 is a very unlucky number- start hiking any time after that and you may as well take a zero. Start hiking after eight and D=RT goes right out the window. Suddenly all logic and math is broken- no matter how hard you push yourself, you won’t get anywhere. You’re fucked.

This has never been truer for me than today. In addition to starting after unlucky number 8, I’m really feeling the altitude. So far, much of the trail on Colorado has been between ten thousand and thirteen thousand feet. Most days I don’t feel it too much, other than the fact that I can’t seem to do a 30 to save my life, but some days I feel it a lot. Today is one of those days. Climbs feel much harder than they should, and I mostly want to sit down, rather than actually hike. I’m fidgety and distractable and I discover all sorts of other things to do besides walk- eat, get water, adjust my clothing, poop, look at maps, fiddle with my music, trip over nothing, extract things from my shoes, clean my sunglasses, have elaborate text conversations when there’s reception… I can’t seem to get myself to just hike.

Morale is high though. This stretch of trail that’s joined with the Colorado Trail continues to be fucking beautiful, and easy to navigate to boot. Aspen forest, water everywhere, epic passes with views for days. Even though I can’t hardly hike today I realize that I’m actually having a lot of fun. My gut has felt good for about a week now, and I’m starting to remember how much fun hiking can be. Which is depressing to feel near the very end of a long hike but hey, I’ll take it.

One thing I realize while walking/not walking today is that I’m nearing the part of a long trail where I start to feel super intellectually understimulated. I just want to talk/think about something, anything, other than hiking and the trail. I’m starting to really look forward to my life after the trail this fall, and this is one of the reasons. What a big, rich world we live in! The things I could talk about and the people I could talk about them with!

I camp after just 22 miles and retreat into my shelter against the cold. I eat hot lentil soup and tell myself that I’ll do better tomorrow.

Photos on instagram