July 9th
N Fork Savery Creek(1413)-1mi before Little Sage Reservoir(1450)
Campsite Elevation: 7,200ft
Yep, I woke up to a tent full of condensation this morning. I expected it with the low area I camped in, but hoped I’d be wrong. This time there were even droplets on my sleeping bag. At lunch I’d have to lay both my tent and sleeping bag out in the sun and there was definitely No shortage of sun most of the day! I started hiking at 6:30am and the whole day was walking on wide open dirt roads.

It was really uneventful. I waved to someone in two vehicles and a tractor, saw plenty of cows, and even antelope.

At this point, this kind of hiking is not a physical challenge, but mainly a mental one. The hiking itself on this terrain is as automatic as breathing. I don’t even think about the fact that I’m doing something physical. I knew it was coming and that this would happen a lot in Wyoming, so I’m glad I’m prepared. I liken this to being in the Midwest most of my life and those long full day drives across corn fields to visit family. It’s just part of the process. When this happened in New Mexico, I wasn’t prepared and got frustrated easily. Now I have strategies. With my new Suntactics solar charger, I have unlimited listening ability on my MP3 player. Most of the day today was spent listening to the audiobook Gond Girl. It was #1 on the bestsellers for most of last year, so I figured it would be a good one to save for here and it’s been pretty good. I’m not a big fan of the mystery novels, but this one is keeping me entertained.

I also have my music to listen to. I’ve found it helpful to give myself little chores or tasks to take up time. Sometimes I pick a waypoint and take a break from listening to anything until I get there. Other times I’ll pick a landmark and jog to it. Little stuff to pass the time. I’m bummed because I only had 10mins of service this morning, but ideally, I’d watch shows as the road is flat and requires little attentiveness. I better get service tomorrow! In fact, I’m actually typing this whole entry as I walk at the end of the day!
It got pretty hot and I could see the steam rising off the road by 11am. I looked and it was 88 degrees. Water is low, but not nonexistent. What’s frustrating is that I’ve had to return to my New Mexico water habits. I apparently can’t trust that sources won’t be dry, so I carry a ton of water and ration it until I do get to the next source where I “camel up” and drink a ton just to carry a bunch again. Most years, this section isn’t that bad as it is the next leg that is considered desert and has long waterless stretches. That’s concerning! This isn’t nearly as bad as New Mexico though. The road is smooth with few rocks, so I feel like I could walk forever. The heat isn’t as strong and the sources aren’t as disgusting. Here is my evening source known as a “tank” that gathers water for the cows. In New Mexico, these were horrid! Here, they are tolerable.

At lunch, I found the perfect protected and shaded spot under a bridge of Muddy Creek…yes that was the name of my main source as I crossed it numerous times…it was named correctly. My camera randomly worked enough to take a timed photo, so I took advantage of it. Still haven’t decided what to do about the camera yet cause it is randomly working completely and other times only responding to the main photo button once each time I turn it on…

After lunch, the clouds gathered and I got a break from the sun. It even drizzled twice today and felt great! I didn’t even put on my rain jacket because the rain is so short lived and I dry so quickly.

Now for the best part of all of this. I made big miles today! I didn’t look at my mileage most of the day, but I knew I was cruising on this easy terrain. At 5:30pm I had already hit 30mi and still felt energized. Usually, feet get sore around this time regardless of miles done. I knew the more miles I put in today, the closer I’d be to town tomorrow. That’s when it hit me that by journaling while I walked, I’d save myself an hour and could hike later. My goal is usually to start journaling between 8:30-9pm and it usually takes an hour (or more as I doze in and out of sleep laying in my comfy sleeping bag). I couldn’t remember if my personal record set on the PCT was 35.5 or 36.5, so I decided I’d hike 37mi today to give myself a fun goal. Surprisingly, I feel fine! I hiked til 8:10pm and got this great evening shot. I’ll probably feel it tomorrow.

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