Monday, May 5, 2014

300 Miles - Day 30 (5/4/2014)

Day 30
Mile 285.9 to mile 301.4
15.5 miles

We broke the 300 mile marker today and did a whole bunch of miles. I am very happy for us.

The morning started as usual and I was still feeling under the weather but not as bad as the previous night. I was still moving a little slow and my head was all foggy. We packed up, I drank another liter of water with Airborne in it and we hit the trail. 

The morning part of the trail meandered through a recovering burn area loosely following the Holcomb Creek. Not the prettiest landscape but it does have its own unique beauty to it. There were lots of Blow Downs, dead trees that have been blown over and are laying across the trail, which made the trail more like an obstacle course. 

At 6 miles or so we came to an intersection with the river so we stopped to replenish our water, soak our feet, and of course have a snack. It was a beautiful overgrown area with maple trees lining the river, birds swooping down to catch insects, and the wonderful sound of a flowing creek.

There is an off-road road just above the creek where we heard several jeeps and trucks struggling to drive along. From our vantage point we couldn't see the road itself to see how difficult the terrain was. When we left the creek we walked over to the road to see that it wasn't really a road but more like a boulder field, huge boulders. And, those weren't your normal Jeeps and trucks but more like rock crawlers. We were fortunate enough to be there when somebody was starting up the road and we just stood there in awe at this Jeep crawling over these rocks. 

After picking up our jaws off the ground we continued on with our hike. We crossed the creek a couple more times, enjoying the shade of the trees, before being kicked out into the hot desert sun. 

Today was probably the hottest day on the trail for us, I could even feel the heat radiating off the ground.  We had to stop a couple of times in whatever shade we could find to cool down. The trail was still pretty evenly graded so we had that going for us, which was nice. 

I still wasn't feeling 100% but I was feeling better. It seems that whatever I had was staying in my head and my body felt pretty good, my legs and feet especially. I continued to drink liter after liter of water whenever I could which I'm sure helped me feel better. 

We eventually reached Deep Creek Bridge and hiked on over to Splinter's Cabin and Trailhead. We needed to use their facilities and we wanted to cook up some dinner before doing the last two miles of our day. Plus, there was water here! I soaked my feet and then we cooked up some yummy dinner. I had mashed potatoes and sausage while Mandie had Top Ramen with some kind of cream of wild rice soup mix added in. We had the privilege
of being entertained by three dogs playing fetch in the water. They were having so much fun it was a blast to watch. 

Mandie then decided to put her feet in the creek and remove the athletic tape she puts on them only to discover that the tape was pulling off her skin too. We use Leukotape instead of Duct Tape because it adheres so well even when wet but we have never had this sort of thing happen to us before. It could have been from the heat or the fact that the skin on the bottom of her feet is so tore up that they just fused to each other. We aren't sure. To say the least, she was a little distressed that this was happening. Especially since we were having such a great day on the trail. She took a couple of deep breaths and managed to get the tape, with some skin still attached, off her feet. 

Her feet appear to be doing okay and hopefully the tape issue won't turn out to be a major issue. We rely on our feet so much and if anything serious happened to them our trip would be over so I totally understand her concern. 

Back on the trail, to do the last couple of miles to camp. We followed Deep Creek most of the way, walking on the mountain side several hundered feet above the creek. The views we had of the creek were magnificent. There were pools of water with sandy beaches, small tufts of overgrown areas, rock canyon walls, people fly fishing. It was wonderful. 

We eventually got to another milestone, mile 300 for us. Three hundreds miles is a huge accomplishment but at the same token, it is just a drop in the bucket for us. Baby steps! Hitting the 300 mile made me think of the movie 300, so the day was filled with reenactments from that movie. We would often kick each other into the giant pit of death. :)

Finally reaching our 15 mile goal it was time to look for a place to set up the tent. The pickin's were slim so we decided to go down by the creek, which is officially only supposed to be for day use. There, across a pool of water, we saw a bunch of kids packing up from their Sunday creek-side party.  Of course they had the best spot, a nice sandy beach. From across the river we started chatting with them, making small talk. They were totally interested in our hike and asked us a bunch of questions about it. They then told us how to get over to where they were. When we got over there I asked them if they had any extra sodas that they wouldn't mind selling us. They didn't have any sodas but had bottles of ice cold water that they gave us. They also gave us two bags of chips. Cold water that we didn't have to filter! It was wonderful. 

We're now all cozy in the tent listening to crickets chip, frogs ribbit, the creek churning as it flows over rocks and the smell of mint plant in the air. We plan to do another 15+ miles tomorrow since today went so well. Fingers crossed that tomorrow will go as well as today did. 

Ribbit. Ribbit.