In the past couple days I have not seen a sole on the trail.
I became aware of how few people are now on the trail and how isolated this 600-700 miles will be until I arrive closer to Yosemite - a mecca for climbing and hiking.
I have also noticed the terrain becoming more difficult than Oregon and much higher elevation changes.
I made a decision to bump up my mileage and try to make up some ground with this isolation. I have been hiking consistently over 30 miles a day now, and Yesterday, I woke up around 4:45am and was hiking by 5:20am.
I pushed through and logged about 36+ miles in more challenging terrain.
I had a slip and bashed my leg/ankle up pretty bad.
I have been in extreme pain for days now.
At one point I was hurting so much I had to stop and lie down.
For about 1.5 hrs I did not know how I could carry on like this.
During that time, I was so hungry that I started eating and noticed my food pack diminishing.
I picked my ass up (I had no other choice) and limped about 70 miles into my next stop..
Putting my leg in cold streams every chance I had to reduce the swelling.
Perhaps I have been pushing it a little too hard..
On another note:
I ducked into a very small village of Seid Valley. I picked up some supplies for a couple days. One nice addition was spicy barbecue tuna packs! :)
I had hiked the day and had been dreaming about this newly discovered entrée I had.
I quickly pulled over at about 5:00pm and tried out my new dinner.
I got up threw my pack on and resumed hiking.
I turned a corner a started heading up a single track trail, with a sharp cliff drop off of a few thousand feet to one side.
The other side was a steep incline.
As I looked up.. I noticed a big bear barreling my way! I quickly thought..Camera or knife?
I realized how big, how close, and how fast he was charging towards me..
I quickly unsheathed my knife and clenched it with all my grip.. and let out a loud holler!!
It didn't phase him...
Now within a few yards of me..
I power squated, bracing myself for a collision!
Then, I remembered my hiker poles and smacked them together as hard as I could over my head while hollering!
Last second.. he veared to the right and up the steep slope!
I guess he wanted to join me for dinner! Try out my spicy BBQ tuna. It was pretty darn good!
The truth is:
I like having a knife, when I bare it..there's a sense of basic, prehistoric survival, I feel a powerful feeling rush over me, to defend, to protect...
I feel Alive!