August 17th, 2018
Jack Springs Trail Junction, mm 1809 to Twin Ponds Tr. mm 1781.5
Distance: 27.5 miles
For the first time in awhile, I had something hurting me more than my feet. It felt like the beginnings of a chin splint on my right leg. It’s not a pain that is excruciating but rather just an annoyance. I had them bad at the end of the Colorado Trail but never on the TA. I’ve actually dealt with them since I was in high school, so I wasn’t too worried.
The trail wasn’t all that remarkable today, save for a climb and some cool ridge traverses around Devils Peak and Lucifer…yes, those were the real names on the map. Much of the rest of the trail was flat but still taxing. There was a lot of downfall yet to be cleared in one area. I jumped and climbed over a lot of logs.
There were also long stretches without water again. First, it was 10 miles to a decent stream (recall that the only water I had was what I carried from Mazama Village the day before). Then it was another 15 miles to a spring. Late in the day, I was warned by NOBOs that a reliable creek had gone dry and now there was a 22 mile water-less stretch coming up after the spring.
Of course, there are often lakes close to the trail, but these can be dry as well. At the spring, I filled my 2 water bottles and my 2 liter bag, so I had 3.75 liters total. That would have to last me through the rest of the day and dinner, then another 18 miles the next day.
Through lots of practice, I have learned how to be conservative with my water and how to pace myself in drinking it. I also don’t sweat much and require less than most people. I have hiked 15 miles without even taking a drink before. Another strategy is to drink lots while at a water source.
I headed out for some more miles. I would walk until 7 pm and then start looking for a campsite. I saw Lucas in a nice meadow just before my quitting time and called it good. I set-up with a nice view of the meadow and could hear elk calling throughout the night, but didn’t see any.