After finally managing my first 30 mile (48km) day I had no idea I would be attempting a 40 mile (64km) day a week later. I have been walking with 'Imfine' for a couple of weeks and he has the idea of walking a 40 mile day in each of the three states we cross. The gradient looked good the following day so I joked that we should try for his 40 mile day in California. We were a bit behind where we wanted to be anyway and the joking became more serious...
When we walk together we spend a lot of time sitting around talking so we decided we should attempt the big day independently. Also, I wanted to walk the 40 mile in one calendar day, starting early and finishing before midnight, but Imfine likes to sleep in. I set my alarm for 4am and went to bed.
I managed to get up and packed by 4:45am and I headed out into the darkness with my head lamp. The first half of the day was a far better gradient than the second, so I had decided I would need to go all out at the start to give myself a chance of getting there. I raced along, averaging just over 3 miles an hour and allowing myself 5 minute breaks every 2 hours. I kept this up for 8 hours and I had done 24 miles by 1pm. I had just walked at my top speed for the length of a working day and now I had to do it all over again.
The inevitable physical crash came a bit earlier than expected. I could hardly move after my lunch break. I was ahead of schedule so I was able to slow down, first to 2.5 miles an hour and then to 2. I staggered along through the afternoon and into the evening. I had also anticipated some sort of psychological crash, and that arrived around the 30 mile mark as it was getting dark. My mind went to some weird and wonderful places.
The hardest part of the day was the last few hours in the dark. My head lamp was failing and it was pitch dark in the forest. I went along talking to myself and hitting my walking poles together so any wild animals would hear me coming. At one point two pairs of green eyes looked at me from a few metres away, I was seriously spooked and rushed on.
I finally made it to a flat camping spot after 40.5 miles. I was totally exhausted. Imfine doesn't travel with maps or a GPS so I left my walking poles across the trial and made "40" on the trail with sticks so he would know he had made it. I got my tent up and crawled in. Imfine arrived a few hours later (before midnight!). We had done a 40 mile day in California!
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Recent Check-ins (View all)
21 I made it.
15 About to catch the last bus for the season out of Stehekin and planning to walk out of America in four days time on the last day of my visa...
09 It looks like some bad weather is finally on the way. My rain gear might actually get some use! Tough climbs ahead but getting closer to Canada each day and with great group of fellow stragglers.
22 Quick stop in Cascade Locks to shower, do laundry, resupply, eat and 'rest'. Across the Bridge of the Gods, over the mighty Columbia river, into Washington today - the first day of autumn.
13 Resupply for Washington all sorted with some help from Mum, who is visiting on her way home from Europe. Now it is time to escape Bend and resume the race to Canada.
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30 True to the thru (Part 4 of 4)
30 The waiting game (Part 3 of 4)
30 Something was wrong (Part 2 of 4)
30 A story that needs to be told (Part 1 of 4)
21 "I knew Typo would make it" (Part 6 of 6)
19 Throwing the Hail Mary (Part 5 of 6)
10 Up and down, but not out (Part 4 of 6)
06 Crossing Cutthroat Pass (Part 3 of 6)
03 Warming up in Winthrop (Part 2 of 6)
30 We're sleeping in a toilet (Part 1 of 6)
25 Another radio interview (Audio)
21 I made it
04 Nearly there
29 Trail Magic
19 Walking with Mum
28 Cold food
28 Hello Oregon!
20 40 miles in one day
08 Official trail name: Typo
06 (Humbolt) Summit Fever
06 Road walking around a wildfire
30 Two trail birthdays
18 A picture is worth...
10 Pain and gain in the Sierra
28 Hiker hunger
27 The inquisitive marmot
19 Stage one survived
05 Live from the Mojave (Updated)
04 I just walked 500 miles...
31 Current nemesis: Poodle dog bush
23 Mexico to McDonald's
23 Gear review: Sleeping pad
18 Hot and getting even hotter
10 People on the trail: Sunset
05 Eagle Rock
03 Hiker discount: 100%
30 The beginning
25 Final preparation
17 Blogging along the way
16 No publicity is bad publicity
08 Walking before the walk
08 Maps for the trail