Day 92: mile 1599.7 – mile 1622.2

Elevation gain: 4,434 ft

Elevation loss: 3,952 ft

The majority of our day consisted of walking through more burn areas, plus I was struggling with feeling a little burned out today, I have to say. All of a sudden, when we were being driven back to the trailhead, I just didn’t feel like hiking today. I’ve had days where I’ve struggled or wished they could just be over, but I’ve never had the feeling that I didn’t want to hike right from the start of the day. I’m not sure what brought it on, but I honestly felt like I wanted to be doing anything else but hiking up the trail right at that moment. It’s literally just so freaking hard every single day, day after day, and I just didn’t feel like I had it in me today.

Our night’s sleep was great, the bed was comfortable, the breakfast was super tasty, and we were being driven by Derek (the motel manager) by 7:45. I was putting on one of my dirty girl gators this morning when the hook ripped off. But the motel had a great hiker box with multiple sewing kits, so I was able to sew the hook back on while we drove up to the trailhead which was handy!

My body felt fine, I felt rested and well fed…I just didn’t want to be walking. Maybe it was because we had so much fun with all the other hikers in town yesterday, or because we face timed the kids last night and they were sitting on our deck with Mikey (our pup) making s’mores in our fire pit (I miss them so much!), or just because we’ve been doing this a LONG time. Either way, the miles needed to be done so we said goodbye to Long Stride because she likes to walk faster than us, and we put one foot in front of the other. Even though the majority of these 22.5 miles today were burn section after burn section, we saw many different types.

Veiled Polypore

We were also greeted with some nice ridge walking with amazing views…of the burn areas as well, mostly.

We leap frogged with Long Stride multiple times today which was great because she’s super fun and interesting to talk with. We passed her while she was taking her lunch break, and then she joined us during our lunch break at 1:45 when we reached Fisher Lake.

Then something amazing happened after lunch. Besides the abundance of wildflowers all around us, I saw these White Pasqueflowers:

These, for some reason, snapped me out of my funk. They are as soft as they look, and they just made me happy. We literally only saw a few of these in one little area, and then never saw them again. Almost like the trail put them there to help me out when I needed it the most 😃 Even though we never saw the Pasqueflowers again today, the varieties and amount of wildflowers jammed all together was phenomenal and didn’t even look real at times!

I also started seeing the hundreds of Naked Buckwheat in a different light. They started to look like pom-poms, cheering me on as we walked down the trail. I CAN DO THIS, I know I can!

We found a few new wildflowers as well:

Lewis’ Monkeyflower
Quill-leaf Lewisia
Lobb’s Wild Buckwheat
Common Madia

At about 21 miles, we came to our last water source before looking for a camp site. It was a spring, just off trail, but had to be collected with the little scoop Link made. Not sure how much longer this spring will be around as a reliable source!

We knew there was a tent site just .2 from the spring, but when we got there it wasn’t very flat and would’ve been very hard to fit the tent. So we decided to move on another mile to a spot that said we would have a view of the Marble Mountains…that sounded really neat! And it was…more beautiful wildflowers with stunning views about 300 degrees around us. We didn’t get there until 7pm, but still had time to get everything done plus enjoy watching a family of deer walk through. First was the doe which we have seen quite a few, but then a young buck, another young buck, and then the grown buck himself! We have never seen a whole family together which was so cute!

See the doe on the left and one young buck on the far right?

So I made it through the day with Link and the wildflowers cheering me up and encouraging me to move on. I’m so glad this feeling only lasted half the day because it’s definitely not a fun one. I’m feeling so much better and optimistic already. I know we can do this, and we will! Thanks for following and helping me along! Double Down

PS…our cell service is super sporadic so we aren’t exactly sure when we will be able to post the blog entries. Like this one…we didn’t have service for over 3 days which is why it posted so late, sorry! 🤨