Well my hike went well but I had to cut it short. The first day was gorgeous and I got started at the southern trailhead at 8am going at a quick pace. I stopped for lunch at 11:30 and had already gone 9 miles. I tried to stretch occasionally since I haven’t really been exercising lately and I didn’t want to completely kill my legs. I got to the camp at about 3:15 for a total of 15.5-16 miles (not sure how far off the trail the camp is). I was set up and eating soon after (did not enjoy my Backpacker’s Pantry meal much, it was glorified Ramen noodles), and ended up in my tent by 5:00. I napped and read my book for a while before going to sleep around 10. I woke up briefly at midnight hearing fireworks and pots and pans clanging, although I’m not sure where that was coming from since I didn’t think there were houses nearby and I was the only one at the camp. Back to sleep for a very good night’s rest.
I woke up in the morning to a bit of condensation on my sleeping bag right below where I was breathing, and also at the foot since I’d been rubbing against the end of the tent and hadn’t guyed out the rainfly at that point so it was leaning on the mesh. I didn’t get hiking until 9am since I took my time getting out of my sleeping bag. My legs were sore some but once I got moving they were okay. The main problem was my right insole. I bought some SOLE insoles earlier this year to replace some old pink Superfeet. I have very high arches and the Superfeet never did much for me so someone at REI helped me check out all the insoles they had and the SOLEs were the only ones that came right up to my arch. The first few hikes I did with them in were a bit painful at the end. Feet swell when hiking and the insoles didn’t give much so it was like I was stepping on a rock with every step. These insoles mold to your feet though so I gave it some time and they didn’t hurt for my last few hikes. That all came back with this hike though and I made it the not quite 5 miles to Batsto in 2 hours. It was another gorgeous day and I wanted to go on, but I didn’t want to cripple myself and there wasn’t really a place I could see on the map where I could get picked up later if my foot got worse, so I decided to pack it in.
I did enjoy sitting in the sun at Batsto and reading while waiting for my ride (at least until some Riders of the Lamb pulled in and starting questioning my relationship with Jesus). I was sorry to end the hike, but based on how sore my legs were the next day, and how I was walking funny because of the way I compensated for the painful right insole, it was probably a good thing I stopped. I know I could have made it but there was no reason to hurt myself. It is motivation to start exercising regularly again though, which I needed. I’m also thinking of some other gear changes I want to do, first among them new insoles and perhaps even new shoes since my boots are older and heavy, so I will do another test hike once I figure out those changes.
See my pack list for my Batona trail shakedown here.