I woke up before first light today. I have a certain place to be today, preferably before sunset, so I want to be walking before sunrise. It's going to be a full day, though, so I need to make sure I eat a good breakfast to set it off right.

I normally cook oats, but I'm going to try cold soaking them today to save some time. By the time I start walking, 20 minutes have passed, and the oats are ready to go, so I can casually eat them and the mixed-in hemp hearts with a spoon as I'm walking. Efficiency point +1.

I come off the ridge into a wash, and follow it for a while. Washes and empty river beds are dangerous, because even though they're easy walks, the trail can veer in a different direction quickly if you're not paying attention to the map.

As expected, I walk past a trail fork, and have to cut across. I could retrace my steps, but I really dislike going backwards and will avoid it at all costs. Sometimes that means climbing up steep and inclines with loose rocks.

Like today.

If I had someone with me, I wouldn't take these risks. Sometimes, however, it's fun to push the limit.

After getting back on the trail, it turns into mostly ridge walking. It's quite enjoyable - although the terrain is a carbon copy of yesterday, the views of the mountains in the distance, and the relatively warm but crisp air makes it feel like paradise.

Moreover, my pack is fairly light due to a low supply of food, so I'm walking with a sub-25 pound load.

It's downright luxurious.

As a result, I make excellent time. I make it to the destination trailhead well before sunset, and I still have plenty of water by the time I get to a well-stocked water cache.

The lighting it perfect, and it seems like every photo I take is perfect.

To top it all off, my Chipotle burritos are on the way.

I use the extra time to walk ahead of the meeting spot and make camp in an ideal spot for the bivy. Because of its small size and relative sturdiness, I can set up camp almost anywhere.
Tennis ball fruit

I find a perfect spot, but it's right next to a fruit tree with fruit still hanging. I could camp here, but it's an ideal spot for bears to mosey about. I don't need to ask for that kind of trouble, so I find another spot a bit farther ahead.

I set up camp, drop my gear, and walk back to the meeting spot.

A lone figure in the dark, waiting on the side of the highway.

A trail angel with an excellent name, Glenn, is nearly here. I get a message on my phone:
"I'm coming in hot listen for the horn"

Indeed, he arrives, and hands me the largest Chipotle burrito I've ever seen.

It's wonderful.

He has 2 more. I though I would get through them all, but the large one is more than enough.

We sit in his heated car and converse for hours while I eat my burrito and charge my devices. It's nice to interact with another human in such a luxurious environment. I'm able to give him quite a bit of my built up trash, and I make my way back to my campsite.

I'll have more weight tomorrow, because I'm carrying two virgin Chipotle burritos.

It's a great life out here.

Made better by wonderful trail angels.