Last night I slept on top of a mountain ridge overlooking Lake Hughes. The power lines dropping deep into the canyon traversed right over the top of me. The sound of high voltage traveling through them all night coupled with the flapping wings of a million mosquitos trying to get into my tent kept me up for a while. I listened to the entire season of the S-Town podcast. It was amazing, beautiful, and sad. I highly recommend it.
This morning I got up at 5 and packed up my crap, did some stretches and headed up and over the top of another mountain. It was HOT. By 7am it was already 80 degrees. My knee started to ache while ascending and I immediately began to doubt my abilities. I hate that this injury plays tricks with me. It went away and I kept hiking. It's all a mental game. I listened to a few podcasts about the Russian Revolution/Civil War. It affirmed what I already knew: Russians are crazy AF.
By 10am I had already hit my day's goal - 10 miles. Knees were solid, and I was acutely ripe smelling. I got down to the highway and immediately was picked up by a trail angel from Casa Del Luna. CDL is a trail angel's house in Green Valley. They host about 50-60 hikers a night. You have to wear a Hawaiian shirt that they provide in order to stay. I think it helps them weed out non hikers. They fed us pancakes for breakfast and taco salad for dinner. I sat around all day with some folks from Alabama and Kentucky and drank a couple cases of Coors. I hate Coors.
It's pretty amazing that people so generously open up their house and massive forest yard to thru-hikers. Their backyard has an outhouse and shower, and a labyrinth of beautiful manzanita trees. You just pick a spot and set up your tent, where ever you want.
I feel good, but remain skeptical and untrusting of my knee, but so far I have felt pretty good and I'm doing miles fairly quickly. I have to remember that I cannot just start crushing big miles yet, even though my brain wants to. Tomorrow I'm going to do another 10 more and try to find somewhere to sleep during the day, cause it's supposed to be another scorcher.
On a separate note: I think about my friends and loved ones all the damn time. I miss everyone and wonder what they are doing at that very moment. I feel incredibly lucky to have people I care about so much. The grass is greener.