April 19th

Today has been a really hard day. I hiked from the Fontana Dam Shelter to the Mollie’s Ridge Shelter, a distance of 11.7 miles and includes an incline of about three thousand feet. The climb wasn’t as bad as out of the NOC, but it was still incredibly long. It took me about 12 hours of hiking to cover the distance. I felt pretty strong in the morning, but in the afternoon my energy level dropped dramatically. My feet are also incredibly sore. The hardest part of the day was when I ran out of water. I’d previously passed a refill spot thinking I’d be getting to a creek fairly quickly but I misjudged the time it took to cover the remaining miles. This left me trying to cover a few Ridge tops with no water and I came pretty close to feeling faint at one point, but I was able to make it to the water point where I took a nice long break and drank up. In total I drank between 6 and 7 liters of water today. The heat is definitely starting to pick up, I’m hoping that by waking up particularly early I can get some good miles in while it’s still cool out

 

I noticed that my mood was also particularly foul today. I felt grouchy at several points towards other hikers, and even my daydreaming drifted to some fairly dark places. I realized in the afternoon that I’d skipped my Bible reading this morning. I don’t think that’s the exclusive cause of my bad mood (the tough hiking probably played a pretty significant part of in that) but it certainly didn’t help

 

I was also disappointed in myself when I got to Shuckstack tower. I started to climb, but about halfway up got terrible vertigo with dizzy spells and my heart rate freaking out. I stopped and still got some decent photos but not quite the panoramic view I’m sure awaited me at the top

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