I have just over 2 miles until the next water source, so I take my time and cook some breakfast and drink the rest of my water. After the extremely dry night a couple of days ago, having plenty of water out here is luxurious.

As I came out of the canyon yesterday, the terrain became rolling hills, and the terrain continues today until I come to a cow pond. These days, I tend to use Iodine more and filtering less, but when you can actually see the cow patties in the water, filtering seems like a good idea.

Even if it won't hurt me, I don't want to drink feces.

Maybe that’s just me.


I'm rushing, because I've decided I want to finish on a particular date. I have 1.5 days to get just over 40 miles. There’s one last big climb right before the end, so when the rolling hills become flat, I jog a bit to make some better time. It's low, and there are trees covering any views, so there's not much to look at.

When the climb starts, I'm happy; as I get higher, there are more views to take in. You can be having an awful day, but turning around during a climb to take in the view has a dramatic effect on your heart, and how worthwhile the entire process is.

There's a particular stretch of road with several water tanks available, even with faucets to get a direct stream of water. It *seems* potable, but I'm not going to take the chance.

Shortly after refilling, I'll power walking along, and I take a look at my watch.

Oh.

I had not looked at the date in a while, and I thought it was tomorrow. I have an entire extra day to make my planned finish. Immediately, I cut my speed in 1/2, and start walking with a slight strut.


After all this time, after all these miles, I'm almost done. And I have plenty of time.

I don't actually have to finish any time soon. I could take as long as I want.

I do, however, want to make it to the lake this evening. That seems like a good place to make camp.

As I get closer, it's obvious that the trail steward puts more care into this section, probably due to the heavier travel since I'm close to a popular marina.

Shortly before the camp, the trail turns into a ridge that goes on forever, but soon I hit the trail head that I turn off to get to the lake. Another sharp turn left, and I'm headed down a road that has been closed to vehicles to protect the land. Of course, there is garbage strewn about - I pick up paper and plastic when I find it, but I generally leave the cans.


The app says I have to bushwhack in order to get to the lake, and after cutting across a fairly dense forest section, I see the general store. It's past 5, so the light is disappearing, and the store is supposed to be closed.

The open sign is still lit, so I'm hoping I can still get some ice cream.

As I walk around the lake, a couple deer let me get uncharacteristically close. They were fine I until declared.

Hi Frands!

Then they took off. I guess they didn't want to be friends.

I walk into the store, and two men are standing there watching "the game".

They stayed open because a boat came in to the marina late, and we hit it off immediately. They're rather impressed that they couldn't smell me as I walked in.

Apparently they've had some experiences with hikers being quite...strong. So strong, that they couldn't identify the source of the smell.

They asked if I used a filter, because one northbound hiker that passed through didn't filter water, but instead drank his own urine. He was mostly interested in buying fruit in order to make his urine taste better. He has apparently figured out the secret to traveling light - no water.

They heard later that several miles up the trail, he had to be picked up by emergency crew.

I guess drinking urine is not the answer.

In case you were wondering.

They offered to let me set up camp in front of the store, since it's well past dark by now. After talking for a bit, the owner volunteers his boat. Tonight, I'll be sleeping in a yacht cabin.

I've never been in a yacht cabin.

But tonight. I'm on a boat.

After lying down on the cabin mattress, I take a look at the mileage I have left.

I could...I could finish tomorrow. If I really wanted to.

But it's quite the climb. Instead, I'm going to split the climb and the finish into two days.

I'm not in any hurry.