Today was a different than any other we have has on the trail so far. We were up at 5:37 and hiking thirty minutes after. The sun was up, it was cool and we had already seen 4 other hikers from yesterday. Getting up that early and seeing that many other people were already a change. We had a goal of 13 miles in mind since that is where the next water source is with shade. We planned on spending the entire day there and night hiking again. We were hiking through a wind farm and the only shade you might occasionally get was from a windmill or itself or a large bush.
It was getting really warm by 8am!! By 9 we agreed there was no question this was the hottest day ever. I felt like I was dragging my caracass the last 2 miles. I was crawling and it was still relatively early in the morning! 😮 The water source was a small creek running between 2 mountains. There were already 8 people crashed in the shade when we arrived. The main thing that I have noticed with the larger hiking groups is that there seems to be less sense of intimacy among the group. When we were in much smaller groups before we left on break, 2 hikers would never pass each other and not stop to talk and say hi. In the lager groups people seem more to themselves and sometimes and less willing to converse. And of course, as in normal life outside the trail, the more people you have together, the more chance there is that personalities will clash…
We chatted with Spring for a while who is from Arkansas and hiking through by herself, slept, ate, played cards with Mellow, Canary and Spring and eventually got back out on trail at 6:30. We could see another beautiful sunset around the mountain and really enjoyed feeling the temperature drop as we climbed a little under 2,000 feet.
Since we were on the edge of a mountain and not walking on wide flat going like last night, we used our headlamps and not just the moonlight to light the path. At 8:30 we were on top of a mountain and overlooking the lights of the small town of Folsom (where the prison is) next to the blinking red on the windmills. The stars were out, the moon was bright and there a a flat spot wide enough for our tent. We thought that we might hike further, but this was a beautiful spot and we reminded each other that we don’t need to rush. We can stop, eat our dinner of beef jerky and crackers under the stars and then get a full nights sleep. And that’s just what we did 😊