I sleep surprisingly well for my first night on trail. After 3 miles of hiking I stop for my absolute favorite trail ritual - the coffee break. Four women and two dogs pass by as I’m packing up and later I catch up with them. One dog is a German Shorthair just like Trigger, but she has a white body and a brown head. She is stick-obsessed and ‘a little neurotic’ as one of the women tells me. Sounds about right. The other dog is a fluffy chocolate lab. I measure my day by the game of leapfrog we play, passing this crew on the trail and them passing me when I take breaks. I promised myself I would try and stop earlier today to have some time to enjoy dinner and not rush into bed, but when evening comes there are no flat spots to be found. So I walk and walk until finally there’s a rocky mound with a patch of dirt between boulders. It’s a little slanted but it will do.
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