Miles hiked: 15.21 (2237.69 to 2252.9)
Dayhikers with questions: 9
Saturday in a popular hiking area like Mt Adams is always a study in satisfying the curiosity of day hikers and backpackers while still making miles. They all ask the same questions; I have stock answers. It can be irritating, but I feel like a spokesperson for the good thru-hikers, so I try to keep the daywalkers happy.
When I'd screwed up the courage to look at my blistered big toe this morning, it seemed less glossy and magenta, so perhaps less infected-looking. A night of absorbing Neosporin from all sides with three band-aids had hopefully helped. Walking was less painful for the toe today, leaving my pain receptors free to discover other pain, new and old.
For 10 miles, the trail went relentlessly up, in dense fir forest for a couple of miles. Abruptly, at a little ridge near the base of Mt Adams, a huge burned section began. Uphill in dead, charred trees slowed me to 2.5mph at the fastest. When I finally caught Any Minute, who leaves a bit before me most mornings, I discovered that she had had the same creepingly slow kind of morning. We were exhausted at our creek lunch spot, but struggled 5 more miles to a glorious set of green meadows set in huge, healthy trees with a stream separating volcanic hills. Getting 20 miles for the day was put aside. Sometimes, it's just nice to relax somewhere beautiful. We wandered down to a treeline at dusk, sitting still and watching a meadow for wildlife. Too many weekenders, though. The sound of the waterfall rushing from up the mountain nearest my tent and the lingering smell of pipe tobacco are enough to make me smile anyway.