Today was a cold start, with the chilly lake breezes and shade from the trees. A few miles in we heard bells and dogs, which turned out to be race marshals. The 100km Waldo trail running race had kicked off at 3am and would finish in the mid afternoon.
The timing was fortuitous as Chug had been complaining of some nascent shin splints and we thought the race aid station might have first aid. In any case, the marshal said they had snacks and water and we would be able to partake.
At the Twins aid station we saw the race leaders come by, not quite on record pace but close. They were due to finish in around 9h30. Running up and down mountains. And people think I’m crazy.
As we ate popsicles and fruit, Chug spoke to a physical therapist and a podiatrist who gave quite generic advice but in general seemed to think it would go away on its own at this point in a hike. Early on, it might have caused more issues but they felt that we are strong enough now that most small injuries won’t cause any major interruptions to the hike.
The next aid station was in 5 miles, or we could choose to take a 1.5 mile side trail to the road and hitch to town. We chose to hike on, and arrived at the aid station just as it was packing up. We were given melon, watermelon, bananas, grapes and water by the volunteers who didn’t want to carry it out, and we sat to eat it by Charlton Lake. We didn’t want to leave, but eventually packed up and headed out into the hot afternoon to hike through the burn zone ahead.
As I slogged through the heat, I noticed some old Pacific Crest Trail System signs in the burned trees and thought back to the days before this trail was a single long distance trail. It seems incredible that such a thing even exists, let alone that I can be here to hike it.
We still had fruit left over and ate some in camp to reduce our pack weights for tomorrow. Sitting by the lake as the sun sets eating sweet and juicy cantaloupe, I figured life doesn’t get much better than this.
Camping: Mile 1939, Brahma Lake