Tenting in a medium-sized clearing (PCT mi 1189.8), walked 26.8 miles today
Even though I had gone to sleep about 9, couldn't bear to open my eyes til 7:30 today. Was moving by 8 and the terrain was so ridiculously easy, and the weather so cool and pleasant, that I started to think I could do 30 miles even with the late start. Kept seeing people from the mini-herd all morning, but by noonish I was past all of them. Kept my breaks short and just kept moving ... The trail spent a lot of time rolling around in fairly dense evergreen forest, but then periodically would climb to a treeless grassy ridge with a great view. Never got to sit and enjoy these views for any length of time because the wind was always blasting, hard enough to alter the placement of my footsteps, whenever the trail went up high.
I would have been well on pace for 30 but a grave case of butt-chafe struck in the mid-afternoon. I have no idea what causes this--my theory from the desert had been sweat running down my back, but I haven't had to sweat much lately. It definitely got worse with the long pants I started wearing after Mammoth, but I'm no longer wearing those. Today was the absolute nadir ... Nothing I could do to treat it was very effective and I had to make a chew toy out of that little plastic ring that comes underneath the cap of a Gatorade bottle, just to keep my mind off the pain. Waddled into camp a lot sooner than planned and am trying to take care of all chores in the tent for the evening in the lying-down position. Even when it's bad I almost always have a few hours of pain-free walking to start off every morning, and I'm only 8 miles from Sierra City, so I should be in town before it makes its dreaded return.