I knew this was coming, he has his reasons. He doesn’t know if he’s making the right decision and I don’t know if he’s making the wrong one. I guess only time will tell.
We went to the road with Johnny Walker and Raingear to hitch back to the trail. No one wanted to take us. Then the Hawaiians joined us. Then Bronny and Root Canal came back down the road after having tried to hitch for an hour with no luck. We were on the road for 2 hours when a police van came up and asked us if we wanted a ride. There is nothing in Etna. Half of what is there is closed down. So the police have seemingly very little to do. So to get out of town they have been shuttling hikers to the trailhead!
Root Canal and Bronny stayed in Etna because Root Canal lost a filling and had to see a dentist. Raingear stayed because by the sounds of it he couldn’t be bothered to hike! The rest of us got the ride and everyone hiked out. Cool Breeze and I said ‘see you later’.
He hiked out and as he disappeared into the distance I was on my own. Well, if Cheryl bloomin Strayed, and more than half the other hikers out here can do it, then so can I!
At 10:30 I started hiking. There was a bit of a climb up from the road. The sun wasn’t too hot, there was a breeze and fuelled by skittles and powered by emotion I hiked at 3mph for the first 8 miles, uphill! I had assumed Cool Breeze would be faster and would have gone further than me but I saw him at the top of the hill. Not what I was expecting. I let him hike on.
The marble mountain wilderness is beautiful and although there was a fair bit of climbing in the day I managed to maintain my 3mph. I didn’t stop for food today, I had no appetite. I ate a twice on the move and stopped once to fill up my water. When you’re hiking on your own there is no reason to stop for long.
So by 6:30pm I had done 24 miles and I had caught up to Cool Breeze again. He wasn’t happy. He thought I would only manage 20 and he thought I had deliberately tried to catch him up. I hadn’t and I was not expecting him to be there. Just as he thought I wouldn’t go as far I thought he would have gone further. We had a chat and as the sun went down it got really cold so we both decided to call it a day and camp where we were along with Johnny Walker.
Tomorrow is a new day.