We were lazy this morning. Because it was cold we switched off the alarm and went back to sleep. Which meant we didn’t start hiking until 8:30am! Oops! We were passed by Steady and Smokey and we leapfrogged with them all day.
The morning was nice and gentle ups and downs. We didn’t stop until we were 8 miles in and needed water. Cool cobra lilies…
We made it 15 miles to the road where we hoped Legend would be. He wasn’t there. We stopped to have some lunch and a little nap in preparation for the next 2000ft or so of elevation gain.
On the way up we saw Pine Stick coming down. You’re going the wrong way! He had been sent back down the hill by Smokey (a doctor) as he took some trail magic food from someone a couple of days ago and had been sick ever since. He was trying to push through it but the doctor told him to go to Etna and rest for a couple of days. Apparently we had missed Legend by an hour. If only we had got up earlier!!
We carried on with the climb, chatting and playing games to make the time go faster and our minds off the climb. We came across Smokey and Steady having dinner by a spring. And sat with them for a while. It was 5:30 and we had done 19.2 miles. We decided to have dinner there while there was water and hike on after.
We continued climbing and passed Steady camped only had a mile down the trail. She had had enough for the day. We were planning to go another 4 miles, we made it 3 when Smokey called at us from just below the trail to say he had found a good camp spot. So, we called it a day and set up camp. There were a load of cows grazing in the valley below, we can hear the sound of distant cow bells. When they moo it sound like we are in that scene from Jurassic park (the original one, where they climb the tree to escape and end up falling asleep and all the dinosaurs are calling to each other). I feel like I’m in Jurassic park.
I also have a purple bruise like mark which I have been a bit worried about. I don’t know how long it’s been there but it’s been 5 days now since I noticed it. So Cool Breeze made me ask the doctor about it. It’s not a bruise. He thinks I’ve been bitten by something, probably a spider or another insect and it’s now showing signs of healing. Keep an eye on it and it should have cleared up in a week. Well, that’s put my mind at ease a little.