Miles 663.8 – 685.6
We headed out around 6am after eating breakfast consisting of a protein bar and a few handfuls of granola, continuing up a stretch of trail that seemed to be steeper than most grades we’d encountered thus far. At the top of the first climb, mile 674.1, we took a short mid-morning break and met two younger girls who had recently started the trail just north of Tehachapi, Indigo and Juniper. Even though our conversation that day was brief, I immediately knew these girls were super laid back, and I hoped to run into them again at some point.
Around 5pm we stopped at Chimney Creek and ran into some people we met on the trolley the day prior, Potato Volcano and Aladdin. We didn’t know it then, but we’d be seeing a lot of each other throughout the hike, which was perfectly fine by me. These two were the founding mother and father of their group, the “SloBo’s” (play on the term NoBo [NorthBounders] because of their slow pace). Extremely fun people, they always had a smile on their face and their high spirits were contagious. I also had just met “Thirsty Detour”, a great guy who had just been adopted into the SloBo family.
From Chimney Creek we hiked a few miles uphill to Seasonal Fox Mill Spring, a better than average trough down a small hill and just to the east of the trail. That night we stopped on a random clearing that we could fit five tents on and after a few minutes an older Swiss gentleman came and asked if he could camp next to us. He had started the trail on May 18th, almost a month to the day I started which kind of made me feel like I was going too slow. It is easy to get caught up in feeling like you aren’t where you should be, but the best advice I could give is to do your own thing; to hike your own hike. Easier said than done as this would become a common theme throughout the trail. There would be constant concern for making it to Canada before heavy snowfall in the Northern Cascades.