Captains log day 36…… The crews morale is low..ok ok kidding but I did wanna get a captains log in here. Let me just start off by apologizing for how long this post is. I just prefer to write a long post covering the course of a few weeks vs updating week by week. Now let me officially start by saying that the desert will be the death of me. Literally, figuratively, metaphorically, pretty much all of the above. If the heats not trying to kill you, then the wind is probably ruining your day. And for the record, I’d rather be dying of heat than dealing with a full day of wind. It’s comes and goes but the miles gotta get done. By the time I get to putting this out I’ll probably have reached 500 miles. Even though it was only a month ago, thinking back to the border and everything that’s happened in between blows my mind. The amount you see in a day and the characters you meet along the way has been an experience to say the least. Right now I’m shacked up at Casa de Luna (trail angel house) right around mile 478. I gotta say that this house is a trip. Right from the start they make everyone throw on a Hawaiian shirt and send you in the back to set up your tent. But this isn’t just any ordinary backyard. Oh no, this is like something from a music festival. They have a nice chunk of land in the backyard that has these trails going through the woods and all throughout the woods people have their tents scattered and tucked away. Definitely one of the cooler stops on the trail. It’s nice to have some downtime to be able to write this and give my body a rest. Everyday there’s usually a new fun pain taking place in my legs or feet but by now my body has (mostly) gotten use to hiking day after day and all the pain that comes with it. It usually takes a solid mile to two miles every morning to workout all the kinks and dust the cobwebs off from the day before. Even on my off days there’s still some discomfort as I walk around with the “hikers gimp.” I also thought that by now I’d be skin and bones but I’ve been doing a pretty swell job at keeping my mid-drift afloat. Out here all restrictions are off when it comes to food & drinks. My diet consisting of mostly processed junk and water is getting old real fast. In no other circumstance would I think about eating honey buns, but for almost 300 calories a piece, they’re a go. Even though sticking to a high calorie diet for the most part, I did mange to lose 10 pounds right from the start. I wouldn’t be surprised though if I already gained the weight back through muscle from all this hiking. Day after day these legs are slowly sculpting into the legs of a Greek god. I can easily feel the jealousy rise up in James as he read that…victory. All in all though, the days out here have been more than I could ask for. It really gives me a whole new appreciation for the little things in life. Coming across a hot shower is like coming across gold. I end most nights with a baby wipe shower but if you know me then you know my fear of baby wipes and how much I despise them. That’s a challenge on it’s own. Or walking 5 days in the desert thinking about a red Gatorade the entire time only to check in at a campground and turn around to a red Gatorade in the fridge. My knees went week. Even fresh water is rare out here. I put a lot of trust in these water filters because some of these water sources are beyond questionable. And for someone who should be away from society, I’ve found a way to consume more alcohol than I do back at home…I’m not complaining. Along the trail there’s been a lot of Trail Angels houses to stop at and take a nero(hike around 10 or less miles and then take the rest of the day off) or a zero(a complete day off.) To put it simply a trail angel can be anyone who picks you up on the side of the road to someone who opens their house to all of us hiker trash to spend some downtime and lounge around. Zeros are a blessing out here after hiking 5 days straight in the desert sun. Mentally though, I think they mess with you a little bit. At least for me they do. You go from hiking miles on miles day after day and then you have to pump the brakes and come to a complete stop. Your body is still in this forward motion that when you take a zero or two, you start to get restless and snap out of trail mode. A perfect example is when I made it back up to my brother and took two nero’s and a zero with him. Here I was hiking 5 days straight to now driving around going to the movies, grabbing Nutella waffles with ice cream, strawberries and bananas while watching How I Met Your Mother all day. Robin Sparkles 3 y’all. Now I don’t want you to mis-interpret that. That’s not me complaining in the slightest bit, but mentally it gets to you. It makes you miss the comforts of home and snap out of trail mode, and then the first day back on the trail is always a rough one. There your are, a 90 degree day with a fresh 5 day resupply of food(roughly 2 pounds per day) on top of 4 liters of water(2 pounds per liter) making you question your sanity and rethink your decisions. Maybe staying out and killing another season or 5 of How I Met Your Mother isn’t such a bad idea after all. Once you hit the day after though, all is well and you’re back on schedule. There’s a balancing act that comes with hiking and taking zeros. Something I’m slowly trying to figure out. I know it’s only been a month out here and I still have a long ways to go, but no part of me has ever thought about getting off the trail. Even on the days that aren’t all that out here, it’s still never crossed my mind to get off trail. If I’ve ever had a rough day out here, it’s almost always turned around in the end. I think a lot of that comes down to your perspective and what you make of this hike. I’m just gonna continue to take it one day at a time and enjoy my time out here. Thanks again to anyone following me through this and I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated. I might put up another post either this week or next. Have to fine tune a few things but I’ll be in touch.