Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 1 (5/18) Water, water everywhere!

Finally the day six months in the making! I woke up about every two hours hoping that 6am had arrived. Of course this meant I actually slept thru my 5:30 wakeup time. Haha. I have to give the sincerest thanks to Halfmile & Deb for their hospitality. They treated me to burgers last night and then a bacon and egg sandwich this morning. That's the way to my heart 100% of the time :-) Deb was gracious enough to drive me to the trailhead and snap a few quick photos. It must've been a three hour commitment after we lost about thirty minutes deporting around an accident. That was just fantastic of her and I want to repeat my sincerest thanks to both Deb and Halfmile.

As I saw in the forecast, today we had rain and fog, and plenty of it. I didn't figure I'd need my rain gear right away in the ' desert'. I made it about 500 yards down the trail before I came to a spot where it turned in to a gently flowing stream. So much for water scarcity today. All of the seasonal creeks were flowing well and there were quite a few that weren't even marked on the map. It was 15 miles to Hauser Creek which was my goal for the day. No problem (sorta). The miles didn't bother me and my training paid off for general endurance. Unfortunately as I was well aware, I had very little training with elevation given the topography of Illinois. I'd done as much as I could using the angle settings on the treadmills our climbing the ramps at the local parking garage, but it was clearly insufficient. I could use the walking poles to power through short uphill sections, but a few of the extended climbs killed me. Then the downhills added to the fun as I had to cut my pace to maintain secure footing and not overload my knees. I probably held around a 2 mph pace including breaks, so that's acceptable but nothing spectacular. Hopefully as I get my legs under me that will increase even as the climbs become more challenging. Tomorrow I start out with a long climb past Morena Butte and down to the lake. I've ben informed they have free hot showers so that will be fantastic. They also have a store where I'll be able to pick up a soon cuz I apparently forgot mine :-( That meant no cooking sloppy foods tonight, instead I ate only those no cook foods. Beef jerky was a great idea to include. Currently camped out at Hauser Creek and I think in calling it a night. Take care all!

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