Pushing the miles!

Day 33, 29 miles, iola ski shelter

It rains lightly all night and in the morning my tent is soaking wet. As I pack it in the stuff sack it’s so heavy I wonder if I left something inside. But no, it’s just water weight.

The short grassy trail back to the road immediately soaks my sandals and socks but I guess they would have gotten wet from the rain anyways.

Today is a long long road walk with about 3 miles of trail in the end. There aren’t any legal campsites for another 29 miles so I’ll push the miles. At least roadwalking is fairly fast. It rains til about 11 and as soon as I see an opportunity to take a break and dry out my tent I take it. It’s challenging to take a break in the rain on the side of the road so I was happy to see a small pullout once it stopped. The breeze has the tent dry in no time. It’s so much lighter now!

I have just enough service to download some new podcasts and even catch up on some American Idol episodes. The road isn’t very busy but I settle for just listening to the show, and not watching risking an accident. My battery drains quickly but it’s worth it.

I get my 20 miles done by 2pm as I get to the Alban general store. Starting at 6:20 this morning was a good plan even if it didn’t feel like it. I buy some cereal and milk for a snack but don’t need anything else since I’ve been fed so well and had the sub last night.

Now I only have 9 miles to go and 5 to a bit of trail. Mentally it helps to be able to the break up the mileage. A car pulls up and asks if I’m hiking the Ice age trail. Why yes, yes I am! Well aren’t you off route? Uhhh I don’t think so.

Turns out that about .1 back I should’ve gone straight instead of left! Thank goodness the lady drove by and corrected me when she did!

A few more miles later I make it to the trail section but before I that I have to add some bandaids to my heels. I’m order to do that I sit down on the side of the road. Boy, does it feel good to sit down! Two guys drive by and ask if I’m okay. Yeah, I just needed a place to sit.

I’m happy to see the bit of trail and I change into my hiking sandals. They immediately get soaked from the grass but they work better on trail. Closed toe, but they feel heavy as a brick.

It’s a lovely bit of trail and I’m sad when it’s over. The next section has a flooded boardwalk and is closed. There is an easy walk around and that where I randomly meet the section coordinator and we chat for a while. Then it’s only 1.5 miles left to the shelter! Some quirky wood sculptures line the trail and several of them are snakes. They’re fun!

The last few miles aren’t super pleasant but I also don’t feel like I’m about to die so there’s that.

Once at the shelter I spread out my gear, stuff my face and relax.

Sure, I can do these big mile days, but do I enjoy them? Not so much.

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