The climb

Mile 109.5 to ~127.3= 17.8

Slept so good last night, was up before the rest of the gang but I was contemplating zeroing today due to the new heel blister I couldn’t pop last night but Ashley performed surgery on me from the comfort of her bed and it felt instantaneously better.  When I finally left camp the sun was starting to crest.   

  
 

I am carrying 4L’s of water and a lot of food…hopefully hiker hunger hits soon…The walk out started off in pastures again…no bovine today.  The elevation rose slowly and steadily. At times it felt like I was in a jungle and at any moment half expected monkeys to swing across the trail. I crossed  over a flowing stream numerous times…should have carried less water, argh. 

 I tied to take a couple of midday breaks but the first one a rattlesnake thought he would join me…once he crossed the trail I quickly packed up and skidattled. Then the second attempt was only 30 minutes and I lost my natural shade and opted to get moving. Along the way up I briefly crossed paths the Potters who were taking an afternoon siesta and then the Bills who were strangers at first but now hiking together and a small group of weekend backpackers (a father…he just had a pacemaker placed…and his adult son and daughter). It was another intense overhead sun day and was rescued by my umbrella. Once I reached open cliffs I was greeted with the wonderful smell of mountain lilacs and wildflowers. 

 
  
   I made it to trail angel Mike’s about 345 and sat at the water tower for some time before I moseyed my way down to the “shack” where I was greeted by Mike (makes tortilla making machines), the most delicious watermelon (ate three slices before even taking my pack off) and smoked chicken made courtesy of Mike in his smoker. Stella who I met briefly yesterday was there, behind me were the Bills, Ashley and FIL, Daytripper, Costco (new to me….trail name came because he started with too much stuff and was giving away free samples), and the potters.  I set up camp next to the Bills and Costco (safety in numbers) because I was worried about coyotes pacing the perimeter of the property as food scraps were disposed there.  

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