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Archive for August 1st, 2006

Destination: Saddle after peak
Starting Location: Ridge
Today’s Miles: 33.70
Trip Miles: 1558.80
Ridge (1524, 6150) to Saddle after peak (1557.7, 6160) ascent (3783) descent (3652)

First 30+ mile day – cool.
It was ironic that on my first day of solo hiking I met more people than on any other day on the trail. I passed section hikers Rita, Southern Harp & Travling Man along with thru-hiker Heiki early in the morning. Then I met 3 groups of Ameri Trek youth (13/14 yrs old) who were enjoying what sounded like a really cool summer adventure – 3 days backpacking, climbing Mt Lassen, white water rafting. The company is based in North Carolina but their programs are all in the west. One of the group leaders was an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker & he immediately hooked me up with a Snickers bar & even took my trash. Then I met the coolest people yet – 5 & 6 year olds on a field trip to Deadfall Meadow. Their daypacks were bigger than they were. The bold ones were running ahead chasing butterflies, & lizards while the reserved ones even pulled it off pretty well a few times, but it is hard & unrewarded work being not you.
I am camped right on top of a saddle, a partial moon has appeared and the mountain sticking through the smoke looks like islands in a sea of fog.
Weird seeing so many people in the morning & now I have not seen anyone all afternoon or evening. The constant chatter in my head is dramatically reduced & when it starts I am able to switch it off and simply enjoy my surroundings. I am in a great place right now.

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