I woke up late this morning feeling depressed, exhausted, with a headache, and dreading the next section of snow-covered trail. Things could only get better from there, and they eventually did – after I’d slogged through 15 miles of snowpack, wandering alone in a confusing forest for most of the day with just my iPhone’s GPS for guidance, I suddenly hit unbelievably easy, clear trail in midafternoon and my morale soared into the evening.
The mental roller coaster on this trip has been pretty interesting. I feel the ups and downs more intensely when hiking alone, especially the gnarly stuff, but I’ve found that things change quickly out here; each day is very much its own adventure, and tomorrow will probably be completely different than today. That’s one of the best things about the trail: you’re never quite sure what to expect from it. Anyway, it was nice to catch up at the end of the day to Annie, Honeybuzz, and three hikers I hadn’t met before – Meow Meow, Liz, and Funyun – so I have company in camp after putting in a solid 25.1 miles.