July 26, 2013
I-15 to Rock Spring
It felt good to sleep in this morning and watch a little TV even. I didn't get over to breakfast until 9:45, then went back to the room and packed up my stuff. As I was doing so, I realized I left my foam sit pad (doubles as the pad for my backpack between my back and the contents of my pack. Pretty sure I left it at the underpass at I-15 I assumed it was long gone, blown away in the wind, so I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the back panel to takes its place. Definitely not as comfortable. Nothing I could do about it then, so oh well. Luckily, when I was dropped off back at the underpass it was still there! Didn't even look like it had moved an inch. Such sweet comfortable luck!
Before making it back to the trail though, three other hikers also showed up at the motel: Bert, Train, and Smiles. I had the chance to talk with them for a while and it was nice to socialize with other hikers. We talked about and compared experiences on the PCT and just how different the CDT is from the PCT. During the course of the conversation I found out that Train had actually thought about quitting awhile back, but was convinced by others to keep going. His goal is to walk from Canada to Mexico taking many of the alternate routes on the Ley maps to shorten the overall distance. One of the aspects of the CDT that appeals to many people is the fact that there isn't a finalized official route and its kind of a choose your own adventure sort of thing. There is still is a route that is the most official option (that's what I'm aiming to do), but overall it's much more variable than the PCT or AT. Also, on a separate note, I think the CDT will be a trail that I will (hopefully) finish and be done with, whereas I would wholeheartedly consider rehiking the entirety of the PCT. The CDT is just a little rougher terrain and more mentally challenging than the PCT, and it seems like the "good" parts are more spread out on the CDT than they are on the PCT. I guess that's why they say "embrace the brutality."
I also met two other hikers (NOBOs) today who were getting a ride down part of the road walk from the divide to I-15 from a nice, older Forest Service gentlemen. The guy hikers name was Yukon and for the life of me I cannot remember the girls name.
After the last three 30+ mile days I am taking things a bit slower to start off this leg and so purposely got a late start (12:30pm) and planned to hike to the first good water, which ended up being Rock Spring. I made it to the spring by 6:15pm and with the dark clouds I saw heading my way, as well as some distant rumblings I thunder, I decided to get my tent set up first. Then I cooked up some pad thai for dinner and I am currently lounging in said tent waiting to see if the clouds materialize in to a storm or rain shower, or simply pass on by without incident.
Exciting news for the upcoming few days! I was able to contact a couple friends of mine, Optimist and Stopwatch, and am going to be camping with them in two nights! They are pretty darn cool and I'm really looking forward to catching up with them and trading some trail tales. And then it sounds like the rest of the NOBOs are either just ahead of or not too far behind them so I will get the chance to see some familiar faces from the PCT and some new ones as well!