Everyone was talking about the climb out of town. Eight miles of hot, exposed uphill. It was so daunting that yesterday two women had come back to town after getting a ride to the trail — they simply couldn’t make themselves walk upward in the heat.
I started out at 10am, after having a lovely, long breakfast at the Red Moose Inn, getting ill in the bathroom (not their fault), loitering in front of the store with wifi, and laying around in camp for a while.
The climb was long, hot, and exposed. But it was also gorgeous! I had jokingly pointed straight up the road to the massive mountain behind our campsite this morning, telling Boomerang (Ant’s new trail name — because B got off trail and came right back) that that is where we were going.
It turned out not to be a joke, and boy was I glad.
The town was little roofs below my feet, the mountain taller than any of the green bumps that billowed away from my ridge line, like the ripples that happen when you shake a sheet. I kept going up and continued being rewarded by the views, different from each switchback and turn of the trail.
I am also hiking along with a rowdy group of misfits, and we all seem to congregate at spots during the day — the first water (we are now using the water report again!!!), second water, really just any water spot. It is perfect to chat for these moments and then move along at my own pace.
I guess after all my crying and carrying on, I like being by myself at night after all. Perhaps it is the chosen solitude that makes all the difference.