July 31, 2017
Etna – Mile 1612.6 (1597.25-1612.6)
Enjoyed sleeping in at the city park this morning before heading over to the local coffee shop for breakfast sandwiches, caffeinated beverages, and a couple card games while waiting for the post office to open. Once it was open, we headed over and picked up our new credit cards (Yay money! Boo credit card fraud!) and then walked out to the edge of town to try and hitch a ride back to the trail. It seemed like it might be a difficult hitch, but we actually didn’t have to wait too long before a pick up truck (with two adorable doggos inside) pulled over to pick us up. They knew exactly where the trail was, which is always nice, and we were able to start hiking by 11.
Of course, the trail started out right away with a climb, but it actually wasn’t too horrible. We soon entered the Marble Mountain Wilderness, and it was absolutely beautiful, but very hot. We stopped in the shade for lunch, and immediately afterwards I started feeling like death. I was dizzy, nauseous, and just felt exhausted. It was probably due to the heat, or lack of water, or the fact that my body is likely severely deficient in some key nutrients (or all three). When we got to the next water source, I chugged a bunch of cold water and sat in the shade for a while and started feeling much better.
The sun eventually started getting lower and the heat backed down, and the scenery just kept getting more and more beautiful. At the end of the day, we were climbing up a rocky ridge lined with wildflowers as a bunch of small waterfalls tumbled down the rocks beside us. It was beautiful. We reached our campsite just as the sun was going down, and we had an amazing view of the Marble Mountains from the site. We ate dinner on a rocky ledge as it got dark and then climbed into bed, ready for a good night’s rest.