Total Miles: 152.3
“We’re gonna get wet.” Not exactly the “we’re gonna need a bigger boat” line famously delivered by Roy Scheider in the movie Jaws, but you get the idea. Hardly had the words tumbled out of my mouth before it was on top of us. The sting of the pea-sized pellets of hail against the back of my legs was what I felt first as we scrambled to throw on rain jackets and ponchos. Over a matter of only minutes, the swift moving cloudburst had spent its wrath and the kinder, blue-spotted sky we’d been expecting took its place.
Given the tumultuous weather of the past week, it was easy to first think that things had yet again taken a turn for the worse. But on this summer solstice, the brief storm that started our day felt more like the death knell of a spring exiting stage left as a new season had at last come to displace it.
With the longest daylight of the year, and the finest stretch of trail tread we’ve seen thus far, the miles came fast and easy this morning, marching forward under the warmth of a sun more befitting of the new season. It was hard to keep my mind from wandering a couple thousand miles south to New Mexico, where we’ll surely be wishing for both the warmth and the daylight we now enjoyed.
Windows in the sky opened and closed, pushing the patches of blue from one place to another, and pulling the rolling line of shade across the land before sunlight chased it away once again. It went on like that all morning while we followed the course of Nicholia Creek, while the bushes along its banks wafted a scent like that of sweet pipe tobacco.
Throughout the afternoon, the pain on the top of my foot that had said hello yesterday started making itself a bit more familiar. It’s normal for that part of your foot to make a crunching sound when flexing and extending your toes, right? Fortunately, this one has made friends with me before—like a shin splint where it doesn’t quite belong. It’s almost as if picking up and putting down your feet in excess of 45,000 times a day can have some unintended consequences. Who knew? Vitamin I (ibuprofen) and ice cold creeks, how I love you so.