Today for me was pretty close to the ideal trail day. Wake up at 5h around sunrise and hike out 20 minutes later. A few hours in, as expected, we ran into Roadrunner and Autopilot heading south. We're at the midpoint of their southbound family stretch. Luckily she likes my ZLite sleeping pad as I had no intention of giving up the comfort of the NeoAir just yet. Might get one of my own.
We chat a bit and Phillip and I hike on northbound. We'll meet back up with them on the 7th in Truckee to continue towards Canada together.
At 8h Phillip and I take a break, discussing our plan for South Lake Tahoe. I prefer getting there early afternoon on the 2nd, so we can do our resupply shopping and sorting that day and evening and head to the post office the next. A day later runs into the problem of independence day and a closed post office. I plan on sending my bear can up north from there, preferably to Stehekin so I can pick it up near the Canadian border and take it home as a souvenir. Getting to Tahoe on the 2nd does mean we need to do quite some miles today and tomorrow. Great!
Around 14h I get to our agreed rendez-vous point 23 miles in but apparently there is some great trail magic at the Highway 4 intersection. I scribble a note for Phillip and Download and hike on. I felt too good to sit around waiting, missing out on potential magic. I challenged myself to get to the highway before 17h, imagining the trail magic to be a shop that closes at five.
When I got to the highway, just a few minutes shy of 17h - well done Sander. 30 miles by 5 - there indeed was trail magic. And they had just 4 burgers left. Glad my sprint here is paying off. I take a Fanta and a bacon cheeseburger, followed by a huge muffin, followed by cheesecake with whipped cream.
I rest for about an hour then take a Pepsi and decide to hike 4.8 more miles, making it a round 35 miles for the day. I have my tent up a bit before 20h and make some noodles to go with my soda. Soda - Pepsi, Coke, Fanta, Sprite, ... - is definitely my biggest craving when on trail. I mean, water is great, but it's nice to have some flavor once in a while.
After this minor second dinner, I get into my sleeping bag and start writing. I haven't felt this satisfied and accomplished since hiking over Muir Pass.
I feel alive!