What exactly is a Double-Mary? Well, I'm glad you asked... It's when you hike the distance of two marathons in one day. That's 52.4 miles, ladies and gentlemen, in 24 hours.
I finally caught up to my first SOBO hikers (Councilman, Ghost, Thumper, and Coach) in Shelter Cove. Man, was it good to share stories with people who've made it through the same terrain. It's been over a month since I hiked with another person, so this was a nice change in routine.
The Councilman and I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and hit the trail ten minutes later, bags soaked from the lake dew. We relied on our headlamps and GPS until the sun greeted us with a steamy view.
The first 33 miles were as easy as a Sunday morning. We flew down and up and down the mountains, hitting the highest point on trail of Washington and Oregon before 2:00 PM and then breaking for 90 minutes at Thielson creek. This would be our last water supply for 27 miles and required us to carry full water capacity. I know PCT hikers attempt the Double-Mary challenge in Oregon, but maybe we chose the wrong stretch? I would like to add here that I was also weighing my pack down with 2 pounds of rocks (freakin hippy) and a 5 pound camera. But hey, when else will I ever be in this kind of shape or have this kind of opportunity?
It was surprisingly easier than I had expected... That is, until the last 8 miles. My socks were full of sand, rubbing filth into my four new blisters, my energy was dropping and we were back to night hiking with headlamps. With only 1.5 miles to go, I nearly dropped off. I rested for a few minutes with a cigarette, probably the worst idea so far, and felt all the color sucked out of my body in the dark. I nearly passed out. There was no way I could give up this close to our silly goal. Mind over matter, baby, and I mustered up my last reserves of energy to make it a full 54.5 mile day before midnight.
There is no way I could have done this on my own... now that I think of it, there is probably no way I would have ever wanted to, either. But let me tell you, I feel like a million bucks. I've been trying to earn capital letters to my bad ass status, and I think I might just be on my way.