Day 18

May 27, 2018 | miles 389.2 to 406.5 |  Buckhorn Campground Alternate


I got used to the luxuries of civilian life way too quickly and easily. Getting back on trail on the other hand is tough. You know your body is going to hurt and ache. You’re returning to a life of cold nights and mornings where your hands throb in pain. Then in the afternoon the sun will soak you with sweat as you push on eeking out those few extra miles.

But it’s worth it. I didn’t come out here to be comfortable – nor did anyone else. We’re all struggling bit by bit, pressing our limits as we continue learning to appreciate the world around us.

My father dropped me off back at the Buckhorn campground alternate at 4 pm after a long drive down from Folsom. Everything felt incredibly foreign; my pack seemed too heavy, my legs forgot how to walk, and I was surrounded by dayhikers. And so continued the next eight miles. Uphills that I should have been easy left me gasping for breath as sweat poured down by back soaking my shirt and shorts.

But then a friendly face came into view. Just past mile 400 at camp Glenwood, I ran into Felix for the first time since Idyllwild. Felix had crushed several 30 mile days in a row, catching up while I was off trail.

Camp Glenwood was lovely; Jennifer, one of the trail angels who maintain the place cooked up a delicious pot of chili to go with some watermelon slices and sandwich ingredients. They also offered cute postcards that they would pay for and ship for you.

Felix and I relaxed there with several other thruhikers, learning from Jennifer that Heaps and crew had passed by yesterday around 4 pm and that we were doing on Macguyver’s tail. We enjoyed all sorts of conversation before Felix and I took our leave, hoping to make a couple more miles before we made camp.

The next section was great. With stomach full of delicious food and legs finally back in hiking mode, Felix and I continued for 6 additional miles in the warm night to the light of a fading but beautiful sunset and a full moon before pulling out our lights for the final 4 miles. We hiked well into the night before making camp closer to sulphur springs campground, catching up on our trail experiences.

It’s great to hike with Felix again; he is always fun to talk with while showing bit by bit all his wisdom acquired from many miles on trail previously. I hope we can link up with Macguyver and start another fun group.

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