Woke up at 5:30am as I had to catch up for two days In my journal. Laid in bed writing until 7am. I could hear most everyone else was already up and moving. Ate my breakfast skillet and the group left camp around 8am. I had to finish packing and left 20 minutes later.
I figured I would catch them in no time but it took much longer than I thought. They are fast hikers. An hour into the trail I eventually caught up to the group while they were resting at the top of a hill. I said my goodbyes and took off down the trail.
Half an hour later I look back and one of the guys, Paul, was right behind me. Wtf? How did he catch me when I was riding a good chunk of it? Turns out he was running the whole thing. So we played leapfrog for a bit. Him passing me on the up hills and me passing him on the downhills.
I stopped to rest and fill up water but he continued on. I caught him again just at the trail head where his car was parked. Still can't believe Paul ran for the 10 miles and was able to keep up with me. Said adios and kept going on the trail.
A few miles in I saw Wendy so stopped to talk with her for a minute. She had woken up extra early and left camp before 7am. Said adios to her and kept going.
The trail eventually became really flat and fast to ride. I was cruising and making great time. Mile after mile I could keep riding and had to walk very little.
So by now I had a little turtle head sticking out and had to do a #2. I looked at the data book to see if there were any toilets coming up but it didn't look like it for at least another day or two. Guess it's time to put the trowel to use. My first time not using a toilet since I started the trip! The suspense is over. Sorry guys. I knew you all were wondering if I could do the entire trip with never having to use my trowel.
Found a nice log and I was able to make a toilet seat out of sticks. Worked out pretty slick until I heard the sticks start to crack. Luckily they didn't break all the way thru, even though that would have been pretty funny, as that would have sucked.
Came up over a hill and there were fields as far as the eye could see. This meant I could keep cruising for a few more miles on 4x4 roads and some regular dirt roads. I was happy that it was cloudy otherwise this part would have been super hot with no shade and no water nearby.
Eventually made it to the stream that had water and where I would camp for the night. The book said there were several good campsites as the trail followed the stream upwards for a few miles so I would stop when I found one.
The first one was taken by two tents but I didn't see any people around so kept going. The second one had a tent set up but no one around, maybe already in bed?
Then I came to a section of the trail that crossed the stream on a log bridge. Only problem was there wasn't any bridge. Only a small waterfall where the bridge used to be. Hmm. How to get across....I decided to go upstream a bit where it looked a little shallower. Took off my shoes and waded across. The ice cold water and round rocks felt good on my sore feet.
This is what it looked like almost every day when I took my shoes off. Lots of shit in my shoes...
Once across I kept going until I made it to mile 327.1 where I made my camp. Over 34 miles today! I like days which I can ride the majority of the trail. Watched another amazing sunset while eating mac and cheese. It was getting dark so finished setting up tent, hung my food and went to lay.