Big ups and big downs

Day 3 (105)

Miles: 20.6

Mileage: 2,190.5

We started the morning before 7 a.m. with a big, long downhill to water. The air felt chilly but it didn’t take me long to start sweating, even on the downhill. The morning light trickled through the tall pines and made the forest glow green.

At the creek we filled up on water and lamented how much water weighs as we shouldered our packs and continued north.

It was another five miles or so of relative flat as we circled around the base of Bunker Hill.

A few road crossings later and we took a break at Panther Creek, applying sunscreen, eating snacks and resting before a 3,000-foot, 10-mile climb at the heat of the day.

In preparation, I got my headphones out and ready for when I needed motivation and/or distraction.

It wasn’t long before I was cruising along to the musical “Hamilton.”

When the music stopped, and my attention was brought back to the present, I noticed how much my feet were aching.

Blerg! Last year I assumed my foot pain was from the heat of the desert and not-quite-right shoes. I do not have those excuses this time. We are in a lush temperate forest and I did everything right for my shoes. I bought a half-size up and made sure I had the right insoles and socks.

Maybe my feet just need to complain for a few hundred miles before they resign to what I’m asking of them. Oh, well. I have ibuprofen and only 450 miles to my goal. I will push this and eventually it will go away.

While the climb was long and steep, the view from the top was quite a nice reward for the work. Big rolling hills of green pine in front of a snow-capped Mt. Adams.

From there it was just another mile down hill to our campsite where I soaked my feet in cold spring water and spent a while rubbing them. We met a few south bounders while we set up our tent and then ate beans and rice for dinner.

We were in our tent and settled down by 7:30 p.m.

My new sun hat. While the polka dot hat from last year is still around, it has lost its stiffness and doesn’t keep the sun off as well anymore. I hope to wear it again soon.
Among the pines.
Richard and the woods.

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