Woke up this morning, had coffee and hitched a shuttle to the trailhead. Hugged Teri Anderson (trail angel) goodbye and ascended a super steep climb.
I only planned to do 10 miles today but ended up doing 15. I am starting to get into a rhythm where I get up early and knock out 7-10 miles, take a super long break to air out my feet and stretch, and then finish up a few more in the afternoon. My knee, thankfully, has been cooperating. The water availability along the trail is forcing me to do longer days than my 10 mile/day plan. Otherwise I have to carry 10lbs of water which sucks.
Throughout the day I have been at pace with a few other hikers that are becoming familiar faces. One dude named Ten Gallon, for his large Indiana Jones hat, passed me a couple times during the day. He was on pace to bag 30 miles this day to try and catch some friends he lost.
I pulled into an abandoned campground called Upper Shake Camp, it was a little creepy. Coming off of the trail, it was a 1 mile/500 foot descend down into it. Having to do steep downhill after hiking all day just so I could get water was demoralizing. I got there and ran into a few folks I have seen along the trail, including Ten Gallon. The wind is totally howling through the trees. After dinner I was so tired I decided to cowboy camp.
I laid under the stars thinking about home, ELACC, family...everything. Tomorrow is going to be a brutal water carry. I may have to hike 15 miles again too.