A girl named Clare.

I met a girl yesterday who’s name was Clare. She’s hikes 30 miles a day even after she had knee surgery. She is a badass woman. When I woke this morning she was already gone. I instantly feel inadequate. It’s so crazy how I could be here now, hiking my brains out, living on trail, sleeping on the ground and still never be satisfied.
So I look at the shelter that is 30 miles from where I’ve camped and I think maybe, just maybe I can make that. I decide I won’t take a break until I’ve hit 15 miles. I stop only once to collect water. 
I take a lunch break at mile 15. It is by a waterfall and I soak my feet in the cold water. I eat more food than I should. Not in the sense that I am too full, quite the opposite, I am starved, but I eat more than I’ve rationed for the day. Two tortillas with some cheese and a bit of pepperoni. A handful of nuts, a mouth full of cheezits. I call home a few miles later to check in. My moral is low. It’s already 3pm and I’ve only gone 16miles. I tell Bobby, not for the first time, that I’m ready to come home. 
I’ve decided I won’t make the shelter but I can hike till 7pm. I hike till 6 o’clock and look at the map to see there is no water for 5 more miles. I think I’ll stop as soon as I find some. Soon it is 7pm, then 7:30 and the light is slipping away. I’m tired, and my feet are beginning to ache. Just a few more miles I tell myself. Finally I come to a stream. It’s 8 o’clock now and dusk is beginning to fade to night. I look at the map before deciding to collect water and see the next shelter is in 1.5 miles. I decide to book it. Somewhere inside the soles of feet I find new energy and I hike the fasted I’ve hiked all day. I’m chasing the last bit of daylight now. I’m in a daze when I get the shelter. It’s busy with many tents and hikers. I’m slightly, no very dehydrated and I ask where I can find water. My only thoughts now are food and shelter. I begin to set up my tent and then I see Clare walking towards me. She is carrying a slice of pizza for me. When I see her I know… I’ve hiked 30 miles today.

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