Day 22Mile 230.1 to mile 235.5
I am sure that you can tell by the low mileage day that something was off today. Remember that rain storm that I talked about yesterday, well it hit us in the middle of the night. It wasn't a torrential down pour but it was enough rain and hail to keep us up. That is not entirely true, I was sound asleep until Mandie tapped me on the shoulder to tell me it was raining. Being our first time in this tent in rain she was concerned, and rightfully so, that water would get inside... and it did.
The tent itself did pretty well in the rain and the liner we had just purchased did its job. The two reasons why water entered the tent was 1) we did not have the liner and 'bathtub' bottom set up correctly and 2) I was using my pack, which was at my feet, to keep me from sliding down my sleeping pad. Doing this pushed my pack against the tent so much that the tent couldn't do its job.
The result of all this was that we had some drops of water hitting us and the bottom of my pack was soaked in the morning. To add to this, the rock I used to hold the vestibule stake in the ground was not heavy enough with the gail force winds we had. Thus, the stake came out of the ground, letting the vestibule collapse and allowing my shoes to sit in the rain all night. It sucked to have to put on wet shoes in the morning but honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
When we woke up around 6 am, it was still raining and hailing and neither of us wanted to get up. We went back to bed and waited for this skies to clear; which didn't take too long to happen.
While Mandie packed up our stuff, I wiped down the tent the best I could so that she wasn't carrying a tent covered in water. All packed up we hit the trail around 9 am. Shortly after hitting the trail we spotted a dear meandering around the wash we were heading into. As soon as it spotted us it took off up the canyon wall. I think that was our first real/big animal sighting on this trip.
We needed water, so we stopped to fill up where the trail crossed a stream. I needed to go dig a cat hole so Mandie was in charge of water filtration. In her morning fog she accidentally dipped my bladder into the stream instead of our 'dirty bag' thus contaminating my 'clean bag'. It wasn't a huge issue, we just can't use that bladder again until we get to Big Bear and can disinfect it with bleach. We have other containers to carry water in, they just aren't as convenient as a bladder, not a huge deal really.
I am trying to manage my calf pain/tightness so I set a slow comfortable pace for us. (I actually think it is my Planter Facitious (sp?) muscle that is tightening up on me now. With no cell service I have no way to look it up. Ugh!) The slow pace helps a little bit but not much, my calves are starting to burn.
I am starting to feel down and aggravated about my calf pain and for some reason I had no tolerance for the pain today. It wore me down and it made me second guess what I am doing here. What makes things even more frustrating is that yesterday I was feeling pretty darn good and even thought that my legs were starting to come around.
The physical pain was having an affect on my mental game. I was in no mood to hike today, had no energy, and my legs felt fatigued to the max. I had to stop so many times and walked so slow that we were averaging one mile an hour. Mandie was also in the same boat so a lot of this could have had to do with our poor night's sleep. Whatever the reason, we were not making good time.
We saw another Gopher snake on the trail today.
It was a little after 1 pm that we decided that today was a bust and that we needed to stop. Besides, we needed to lay the tent out in the sun so it could dry out. We found this nice little tent site nestled in a few oak trees and made camp. The rest of the afternoon was spent drying things out, washing socks, getting water, and most of all resting.
It wasn't the day either of us had in mind but what ya going to do. We are listening to our bodies and today they most certainly said, 'Rest!'
Somewhat related and somewhat not related to today is a conversation that Mandie and I have with each other almost every day. That conversation has to do with comparing us to other thru-hikers. Whenever we meet a new person on the trail the question that almost always gets asked is, 'When did you start [walking the trail]?' These days it seems that the people we are meeting started walking a week to a week-and-a-half after we did. We know it is not a competition to get to Canada but it is very discouraging to be at the same place as somebody that started much later than us. It has almost come to the point where we don't want to tell people when we started.
Our pace will pick up, our bodies will eventually cooperate, and we WILL make it to Canada. We may not be fast but we are stubborn. :D