Steve and Maria dropped me off at the Southern terminus today at about 4pm. There were 2 guys there celebrating completing the south bound route with their friends. The hikers looked kind of hungry….like a couple months of hungry. We chatted for a few minutes, but I wanted to get started and, frankly, they didn’t want to talk about the trail. Can’t blame them.
I started walking. The area was cross-crossed with dirt roads and paths. After about 10 minutes the south bounders drove by in a car and told me I was going the wrong way. Great start, John.
After a couple miles I looked down and found this.
My goal was to get 6 to 8 miles in before I camped. I know there was a big climb ahead and wanted to put that behind me. Trail was generally flat for a few, then started climbing. Sundown came a little before 6:00, so I put on the headlamp turned up the music, and leaned into it.
At around mile 6 or so I was in the middle of bellowing out a song from Rush 2112. I rounded a switchback and noticed a headlamp shining on me from the bushes below the turn I just passed. I stopped, pulled out the earbuds, and shined mine back. Couldn’t see a thing and neither could the other person.
Girl in the bushes, “Hi”
“Camping for the night?”
Me, “Sorry if I scared you.”
“Yes you scared me a little”
“Ok, I’m leaving”
I figured the best thing for Scared Girl was for me to leave asap. Had this image of her preparing to lunge at me with her spork. Earbuds back in, singing voice recovered, back to 2112.
Me “……..Another toy….to help Destroy…. the Elder Race of Maaaan…..”
Made the top of the ridge line and camped for the night. Little light pollution. Could make out the milky way.