July 22nd 2018
Ten mile campsite – Silver Hill Campsite (mile 1478.6)
18.9 miles
Total miles: 1499.2


I was hungry before I went to sleep and I thought about eating my last Twix. I didn’t bother and when I woke up my stomach felt completely hollow. I woke at 5 and it had been raining all night I think. Just a light drizzle. I struggled to go back to sleep. I don’t think that Aleve PM had any effect at all. By 6am the rain had gotten harder and I just didn’t want to get out of my tent. There were so many creatures on my tent. About 8 daddy long legs. 

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I heard rustling and the pop of an air mattress. It was only a mile to the deli so the thought of an egg and cheese sandwich spurred me on. It was drizzling and my tent was wet. The forecast was for rain all day. When I got to the deli I was a bit disappointed. It was a gas station basically. They had a few prepackaged sandwiches and some freezer food. I needed to resupply but I was too hungry to think about anything so the man in the shop was really nice and just let me get something to eat and drink and then I completed my resupply afterwards, as there was a minimum card spend of $10. 

I chose a microwaveable hot pocket. Basically a pepperoni pizza in a pocket. It was exactly what you would expect of a microwaveable thing but it at least filled a big hole. After a Gatorade I was able to go back in the store and find a few things to resupply with. 2 tubes of Pringles, 2 Twix bars, 2 fruit bars, a single serve peanut butter, 2 packets of peach loops and an apple turnover to eat now. Plus another Gatorade to pack out. This food thing is getting really difficult. 

Meanwhile, Peaches and Shred decided they wanted to do the 24 24 24 challenge. That is to drink 24 beers and hike 24 miles within 24 hours. I think anyone wanting to do this is totally bonkers and not one part of it sounds like fun! But they were keen. 

Professor arrived at the ‘deli’ and got on board with the challenge too. So. Not only do you have to drink the beers you have to carry them. A 24 pack of beer weighs 18 pounds. So there are a few strategies, they chose to drink 4 or 5 beers before they started hiking. Packed the rest in their packs and they would then drink beers throughout the day, ending the day at a shelter 23 miles away where they would finish the remainder. 

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We spent way too long at the deli-gas-station. There was a lot of overexcitement from everyone about the challenge and it was all smiles and laughter and nerves. The rain eased off and it looked like it was going to clear up. After getting there at 7am we didn’t hike out until 9:45am. This was a mistake. 

We all left together, hiking in a huge group of seven of us. 3 doing the challenge and 4 not. I would never do this because I don’t like beer and I can’t think of anything worse. It was a huge uphill to start with and I think the realisation of how heavy their packs were kicked in. We stayed hiking together for a moment, everyone joyous and excited for the day ahead. 

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I stayed at the back. If anyone fell or got ill then there should be a sober person at the back to help out. It was clear that they were all a bit drunk after the 4-7 beers that had been drunk before leaving. I’m not sure what was up with me today but I was struggling. I felt like my pack was laden with a case of beer too. I’m sure hiking a big day yesterday contributed to the way I was feeling but I felt ridiculous that the drunk people carrying all that extra weight were finding the trail easier than I was! 

Pretty quickly we spread out a bit. Jukebox and I were at the back with Shred and the rest of them were out in front. We would see them stopped a few times but after the third time we lost them for the rest of the day. 

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Shred was struggling. At first he felt drunk. Then it wore off a bit and he just felt sleepy and like he didn’t want to drink any more beers. We had a big rocky decent later in the day and he didn’t want to be drunk for it. So he slowed down on the pace of the beers. The trail was really rocky today and the rocks were super slippery. The rain stayed away but the humidity was intense, sweat was just pouring off me. 

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The trail varied between rocky forests and open meadows. It was all a struggle. And it wasn’t just a struggle for me, it seems everyone was feeling it today. 

We stopped a lot throughout the day, Shred drank a few more beers and we ate a few snacks. Shred was also feeling a bit rubbish because he had taken a couple of falls. Once he fell on his bum and the other he really scraped up his thigh when he slipped on a rock. We got the the steep descent we had been a bit concerned about during the day and it was really steep and really rocky but it was manageable. The rocks were still wet but at least the rain wasn’t pouring on them. That would have really sucked. 

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At the bottom we had a 5 mile stretch of flat. Unfortunately we had barely managed a 2mph pace all day and now at 5pm we still had 12 more miles to go. Realistically with the way everyone in my little group – Jukebox, Shred, Bryce and I – was feeling we weren’t going to make it, and if we did we would be hiking in the dark and possibly the rain. 

So we changed our plan and decided to camp at a spot just 6 more miles away. 5 miles of flat and then a mile uphill. My whole body was in pain. I can’t imagine what Shred must feel like. We called peaches and Professor and they agreed to do that too. That means they will have to get up really early and hike the remaining 6.4 miles and drink their remaining beers to complete their challenge before 8:30am to get it within 24 hours.

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The flat 5 miles was nice in one way. It was flat and there weren’t any rocks. And in another way it really destroyed the body a little further. My knees were hurting and my big toes and my heels were all so sore. Shred stopped to pee and I carried on. I caught up to Jukebox and Bryce and told them the plan to camp earlier. They were broken also so they agreed straight away. Peaches had managed to leave her trekking poles on the trail, which she needs to set up her tent so Bryce picked them up. 

We were sat waiting for Shred and as he came by we told him there was less than a mile to the campsite and he said ok let’s go and carried on walking! That last mile of climbing was a killer. Today was such a struggle it was so strange after yesterday. 

Professor was lying down in his tent having drunk 13 beers. Peaches was attempting to set her trekking pole tent up by using trees and string instead so she was very happy to get her poles back and she was also 17 beers in. Shred had only managed 11. Peaches was killing it and she remained in high spirits. The other two weren’t loving life so much. 

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It was a really nice campsite and there were a bunch of other people there. Andrew, Yelp – a british guy I’ve heard about, Player one, Peach. Peaches and Peach were really happy to meet. 

We sat around and ate dinner and laughed at the three crazy people drinking the beers. The two boys had to bow down to Peaches superiority. She has crushed them so far. I ate some Pringles and some pretzel things with the peanut butter. The peanut butter actually made a nice change from the other crap that I’ve been eating. 

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About 8:30pm I’m done and I have to lie down. Tomorrow the others plan to get up early. Hike the miles. Get to the shelter and finish their beers. Then hopefully they will have a little nap and wait for us sober people to arrive. I have a new chafe experience, armpit chafe and it is so so sore.

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It’s now 9:40 and it started heavily raining about 10 minutes ago so I will be falling asleep to the white noise of the raindrops.

 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 75

 

 


 

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