Up to this point, my mileage each day had been steadily growing. I started with 15 mile days and slowly work my way up to 20 mile days and eventually even did a few 25 milers. I never thought the morning I woke up at the hot spring, I would do my longest day yet. by a lot….
From the hot spring, interstate I-15 was about 35 miles ahead. At this highway a McDonald’s is located near the trail. This is a big deal for hikers struggling with “hiker hunger”. My original plan for the day was to do 18 miles and stroll into McDonald’s the next day for lunch, except by lunch time, I had already hit the 18 mile mark. At that point I knew it was possible to make it all the way. So I went for it. Along the way there were incredible vistas and I had good company.
Finally, at around 8 pm the golden arches were in sight. I’ve never been a true McDonald’s fan but I can say that moment was different. I went in and ordered a double quarter pounder with cheese, a large fry, large drink, and twenty nuggets. I finished them all.
After dinner we ended up having to walk another three miles in the dark to find a campsite.That made for a 38 mile day. I set up my tent and went to sleep happy and full. All was well, or so I thought… -Noel Nelson