Our boots crunched on the gravel behind the row of cars, then stomped over a wooden footbridge into the woods. Into the woods.
|This was the first of many creek crossings.|
Soon after Pony Ridge, the trail became more narrow and less traveled. Ryan and I spread out a little bit, each lost in our own thoughts. We were always in each others' sight, but sometimes you don't need to talk in order to enjoy the company of another human. Especially on the trail. The rhythm of my own footsteps on the remote soil sent me into a meditative state. My mind quit chewing on the various problems that had inhabited it for weeks. I released the problems into Mother Nature's capable hands. I just walked.
|My two feet, carrying me over.|
|This odd little ptarmigan was hiking alongside us at one point. I could have picked it up!|
|That's a big tree!|
I also felt rather spent. After all, I had just hiked 9 miles, mostly uphill, with a pack. I sat on the sandy bank while he set up the tent and filtered some water. Soon I was feeling refreshed and able to participate in camp life.
|Ryan filtering some water for us at Pyrites Creek|
|Our tent, Big Agnes, at Pyrites Creek|
|This is most of our food in the bear can, with a view of our campsite on the banks of Pyrites Creek.|
|Ryan made haystacks (deconstructed tacos) for dinner. Best meal I've ever had!|
|We took shots of Herdez salsa from a can to avoid spilling any on the ground and attracting vermin. Pass the Herdez!|
After dinner we were both ready for bed, so we turned into Big Agnes. It was still light out. I was asleep by 8:30.
Ryan's girlfriend, A, loaned me her FitBit for our hiking trip. Afterwards she hooked me up with the data, which shows how intense this first day of hiking was. I walked 24,935 steps that day. And I loved every one of them.