Wind Farm Camp to Rock Hill Camp
Mile 587 – Mile 611.1
I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else. – Winston Churchill
Facts are useful things. I use a crowd sourced water report that tells me things like the next water source is 18.8 miles ahead and as of 6/1 the spring there was flowing at 1L per minute. Perfect, armed with that information I can plan accordingly.
Less useful is all the qualitative commentary that creeps into those reports. “It’s a hot, hot, hot walk to the spring so load up on lots of water” Not just out here on the trail but elsewhere in life, I have found that the worry about something someone said was awful almost always is worse than the actual experience.
There’s power in expectation and it can either be a force for good or ill. When I buy an airline ticket to Hawaii, woohoo!, my trip has already begun and I live into a future filled with all the thoughts of fun I will have. When someone tells me the hill at mile 17 in a race is a killer and crushes everybody, I spend the first 16 miles churning on what’s to come. Positive expectation enhances enjoyment of life while negative expectation wasted time and extinguishes joy.
As a result, I try not to pay much attention to what other people say the trail is like. I need to know things like where water can be found but others’ opinions often seem to be overblown.
Case in point, today’s hike was said to be a long, hot slog but for me, it was not. It could be that I lucked into cooler, windy weather but in any case, the trail was just the trail.
My day started by leaving the whirring hum of the windmills behind. Their white noise last night made for one of my best night’s sleep yet. I walked through a burn area that eventually gave way to serene private pastureland and then to a unexpected pine forest. I stopped to gather water at Lander Creek and the spot was so nice I stayed and made dinner too.
Off again after dinner to finish up my miles for the day, I happened upon more trail magic! Santa’s Helper had driven his minivan up one of the dirt access roads and was doing a brisk business handing out cold sodas and treats. He said he had served 29 hikers so far today.
Those surprise carbs launched me out of the woods and into a rocky scrub land where I secreted my tent between some boulders for the night. This area appears to be too remote for cellular coverage but then again, I was expecting as much.