Day 16 – Bonus miles are worth it

Waking up this morning was different than usual. It was probably in the 50’s and getting hotter by the minute. I am worried about what that means for later today. The first 3.8 miles to the interstate were super sandy. I’m not sure if that was better or worse for my sore feet. Under the bridge of the highway, we were greeted with fresh fruit and sodas. I had a pear that reminded me of the pear tree that used to be in my grandparents backyard. After a short siesta, we climbed 1500 feet over 9 miles to get to whitewater preserve, an oasis in the desert along the whitewater river. It was a half mile off trail but well worth it. They had picnic tables in shade, potable water and bathrooms. I ate the rest of my block of cheese, Alfredo pasta, Mac and cheese, a peanut butter cookie and half of a chipotle burrito that some people had brought in. The 2 miles to camp after all that were slow. When we got to our potential campsite along the river, the wind was gusting to what I would guess is at least 40mph. We all went for a swim then dried off and walked a few more miles to camp for the night. Price point and honey bear joined Sam, Sophie and I. We all sat around having discussions of trail. Everyone tonight except for Sophie are in their 30’s so at one point the conversation turned to us old folks giving her life advice. Most of the advice was centered around living life to the fullest, not worrying about a career and having fun in your younger years. We talked about entering the workforce and then finding the time and money to spend half of the year living outside. I haven’t heard a single person say they regret doing this. And I continue to meet people who are on their second, third or even fourth thru hike. At some point, hiking becomes more of a lifestyle than a hobby. And it’s a pretty amazing lifestyle.

Bonus miles are a tough decision some days. After walking all day long, the idea of even doing 1 extra mile can seem ludicrous. Today, we decided to do that extra mile for the tables, shade and bathrooms. It was worth it just for that. The cherry on top was getting chipotle from some wonderful people. Sam, price point and honey bear decided not to do the bonus miles. They regretted it. 2 days in a row now I had done bonus miles and not regretted it. I think I’ll continue to do them.

Miles: 15.9 Total Miles: 221.6

The view of Whitewater River from above. We went for a swim at mile 220.1.

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