20 km


Today was hard.

Last night it rained. It alternated between sheets of heavy rain and wind then would go back to just regular drizzly rain. In the morning we stayed in the tent longer than we wanted to in hopes of waiting out the rain a bit. The clouds were moving quickly and as the rain broke for a few minutes I went to pee, but it was back right as we took the tent down. Breakfast was rushed. The morning was wet, but the mud wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I hopped a sketchy fence and hunted for a faucet with water as the guidebook described, but we couldn't find anything that was on, so we made a backup plan and pressed on. Shortly after, there was a clear sign pointing to a massive tank (the book descriptions are kinda tough to interpret sometimes). The wind whipped as I filtered a few liters and then we continued on. We walked and walked and the sun peaked out for brief intervals, but it's a tease. We sat down for lunch but that was pretty quickly interrupted by rain. On we walked. The mud game also picked up around the middle of the day. We left one nature preserve, road walked for a few minutes then turned into another one. The trail is laughable at times. With the sun making another attempt to fend off the rain we pressed on. The rock is slick, the mud is slick, and then the trail drops down into a canyon and the markers are literally in the middle of a stream. Why? We did our best to avoid walking in the middle of the creek but it was eventually the only way. Also the trail literally has you climb up the sides of waterfalls. We found a work around but I got slashed pretty good by some kind of thorny vines. The plants here are pretty aggressive, and everything seems stabby. The creek walking seemed to go on forever, I don't know how else to describe it other than never ending, oh and did I mention the thunder, wind, and more rain were billowing overhead. When we were done we headed up, and bam, wind and rain whipping in our faces.

Can't seem to catch a break today. We sought some shelter pretty quickly behind the wall of a locked bathroom of a fortress - also closed. The sun was trying but the wind was winning, and after stuffing a snickers down my throat, we continued on. We had an hour or so of just wind but the sun was out so I was trying to move as quick as I could. The mud really slows you down. We cruised along through lots of cow pastures, and met lots of cows before the wind picked up and rain. Pelting rain. Rain that genuinely hurts. It feels like someone throwing tiny pebbles at your bare legs. Blah. We climbed up a hill beyond the cows and then back down. We crossed a large flattish area and the wind was so strong, you could barely put your foot down straight. We approached buildings that were in the distance and my hands and legs were tingly aka not bueno. None of the buildings were open and none of them provided any shelter at all, they all had huge barb wire fences around them so far out that they no longer shelter you from the wind. It was almost 4 and we were both ready to call it a day. We continued down trail for about ten minutes before finding somewhere mediocre to pitch the tent. It’s near a rock that moderately shields us from the wind, but everything is still flapping and gusting like crazy. Also, the tent is still soaked. Once it was up I peeled my gross mud shoes off and got in. I shook and shivered and just sat for a while. Eventually I started getting things together and the rain took about an hour break so we cooked some ramen. Now, more rain, more wind and maybe some Infinite Jest.

Other thoughts - why do people feel guilty for telling the truth? Also why is expressing what's in your mind so so difficult? Why can't we take ownership of our thoughts even if they hurt others? Blah, also Russ fell three times today which is so scary for me. He falls with force and is usually behind me so I don't see it, and never know how bad it is. I also don't know how to cheer him up which feels shitty especially since he's so good at it with me. Also I saw a wild boar!!!!!!

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