I wake up before my alarm and assemble my things slowly. Some of the others are already up but Poptart and I leave first. We fill up at the water cache and hike on. It’s a little windy but once we enter the hills it dies down and we ascend gradually. The sun slowly rises and we take a break 10 miles in. Some of the others from last night pass us and then we regroup at the next water cache. I down a 500ml bottle, thirstier than I realised. We hike on and reach Silverwood Lake. I really fancy a swim so head down to the blue lake. Poptart hikes on eager for more miles.
I eat chocolate and go for dip. The water is so refreshing cool, goosebumps instantly line my skin and I dip down to submerge myself. I rinse my clothes as a few other visitors enjoy the water. Families and couples are swimming and enjoying picnics. There's a cold breeze coming in so I sit in the shallows and wash my feet and legs. I have no idea how they get so dirty with my trousers on. I retreat under the lifeguard box and chill there out the sun. I pick through my food when a lady approaches me and holds up a sandwich and some watermelon. Amazing! The Trail provides! Fresh fruit is always appreciated on the trail. My clothes dry within the hour and I decided to make a move.
I brush my teeth at the water fountain and sort out my feet with fresh plasters (band aids). I set off at half 1 and it’s so hot. I see a road which looks like a shortcut on my map and head up it. But after 30 minutes it becomes too overgrown to continue and I have to turn back. I keep my head down as I battle the heat. I ascend and take frequent breaks along the way to try and cool down. I drink my warm, flavoured water and survey the scenery before me. I’ve climbed quite high.
I keep a good pace and get a new blister but the thought of Mac D drives me on. I check my phone - a lot as I get towards the end of the day. Both my half mile ap and GPS. I’m so close. A hiker passes me and I try to match his pace but I can’t. Only 2 miles to go. I drop under power lines and can hear the road. I’m close. I see a wooden sign for Mac D - 0.4 miles away. I speed up considerably and can see the guys who overtook me earlier. I vault inside and order a large ¼ pound burger meal and down the various flavours of drinks they have on offer. We don’t have free refills in England so I indulge.
A guy asks me about all the hikers who pass through here and I say we’re all hiking from Mexico to Canada. He stares gob-smacked for a moment and admits he’s impressed. I then get talking to two other hikers called Globe and Namaste. They were taking the trail easy and going with the flow. They had spent 3 days at the hot springs a few miles back. Both cool guys. I eat a mcflurry and get a call from Poptart who is spending the night in a hotel and says I can join her. I head other there and sneak in. I wash my days clothes which takes ages and in the end they don’t actually come clean. Then I wash myself. I hang my clothes up to dry in the bathroom and hobble around on my poor feet. I stretch a bit which I think helps. Poptarts spend the evening on the phone as I catch up with the online world. I watch the end of the latest GOT episode and chill. It’s 10 pm when I head to sleep.