Day 74: Wednesday, July 17

Cowboying on timber company land (PCT mi 1332.5), walked 30.0 miles today

It was almost cold last night and extracting myself from the sleeping bag was not easy at 7am. Showing great fortitude, I made it out anyway and was hiking by 7:45. Caught up to Banana Ripper, Songbird and Robin Hood basically all at once after an hour or so and told them about yesterday's misadventures. Walked on and off with some of them for awhile, left the couple behind for good when they got to a dirt road where Songbird's mom, having driven from Massachusetts, was supposed to meet them and take them into Chester for a few days off. But the mom wasn't there and there was no cell reception, so all they could do was wait.

My legs were leaden all afternoon and I'm not sure why; my mileage hasn't been crazy lately and I'm eating enough, and those are usually the two problem-causers. Staggered through it all anyhow; the terrain wasn't very hard, though the water sources were all 10-15 miles apart and one of them was .4 miles off-trail straight downhill so I ended up doing a lot of extra work and weight-carrying. Was alone all afternoon and evening, Robin Hood's probably just ahead of me somewhere, he might have made the next 2.5 miles to the highway, which I'm saving for the morning.

At about 6:30 pm, made it to the halfway monument, which Halfmile points out on his maps is 3 miles short of what he's measured as the current midpoint. At any rate, there was a register there, which I signed with a relevant SpongeBob quote, then I ate a celebratory Mounds bar. See, I haven't changed since middle school. I remember when Perro and I walked up to the halfway monument on the AT, there was a family there day-hiking, and they had a wretched little ADHD creep of a child named Hudson who was running around, interfering with our pictures, and generally not giving us a chance to soak in the moment at all. We were gone after 5 minutes. At least I had some peace this time around. The only hope I have for the second half of the PCT is that my body stays intact, which it failed to on the AT. I have a feeling I will keep enjoying the trail immensely, and it'll just fly by, if I just hold up physically.

Tomorrow I'm probably going into Chester in the morning just to grab a meal and a few extra groceries, then I've got to get back out and keep moving, 45 miles in about the next 44 hours.