Wednesday, October 10
Camp elevation: 7402 feet
I have grand plans of hiking all the way into Mormon Lake today, but I sleep through my 4:30am alarm and wake up closer to 5:30. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hike in the morning darkness anyway so this makes the decision easier! I make coffee and rehydrate oatmeal. Pack up. Hit the trail. Eat ‘n hike.
I quickly come across a guy camping – he’s NOBOing a small section to Flagstaff. I pass by a hunter walking on trail. Walk, walk, walk. It’s cold. I’m glad I picked up some loaner hiking pants at Melody and Tim’s place. Shorts would be chilly. I’m feeling a little vertigoey but the meds seem to help. Fill water at a metal tank. The trails are muddy but could be worse. A few guys on 4-wheelers go by while I’m hanging out off trail in the trees. Another one herding some cows. I startle a giant crow (or raven?) who startles a fox. Early lunch break. I have some service and message Jared. Solo hiking is kinda the pits. I’m coming to grips with the fact that I don’t really like to solo with nobody around for long periods.
Keep walking. Woods. I pass a young family of 6 out on a day hike. The trail runs along some old railroad beds. Various dirt road crossings. Woods. Walk, walk. Minor hills. The vertigo feels a little worse. I peel off trail at 5:15 to set up camp. 3 miles before Mormon Lake. So close! Set up camp. Make dinner. And hot chocolate. Elk are calling and coyotes are yipping. I’m able to send some messages with my meager service. I’m leaning towards waiting up for Daniel and Mary – now Facebook friends and able to get in touch with – rather than continue to solo hike with the spins. 8pm sleep.