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Begins: May 9, 2022
Date: Tue, Jul 12th, 2022
Start: Spring Valley
End: Lake Valley Summit
Daily Distance: 13
Trip Distance: 1,017.5
Entry Visits: 109
Journal Visits: 7,604
Guestbook Views: 484
Guestbook Entrys: 8
I was hiking by 4:57! To beat the heat as well as excitement to finish. It
was just 13 miles of jeep track and well graded dirt road to the end. I
didn't stop, averaged 3.3 miles per hour according to my watch. I think
that's my max speed. I was just crossing Spring Valley back to where I
started and the Fortification range. Before I knew it I was at the end.
Although there were 2 roads that paralleled and connected where I started
and I was like, hmm, where did I start? I did one final XC of 50' across
soft dirt and found my spot to connect my steps. The rocks spelling out GBT
were still there so I got a picture at the now official rocks spot.
The last few days the concept of a loop really appealed to me. Kinda like
getting to Mexico or Canada feels like such a big deal, finishing where I
started 65 days ago really appealed to me. Except when I was crossing the
valley all morning back to where I started I really didn't recognize
anything. It was pretty funny actually, I was like, I guess that's the
Fortification range and where I went into it. I guess 1 sage brush valley
with low lying ranges looks like a lot of others!
Anyway, the GBT was the hardest hike I've ever done, no question about
that. It was also one of the most amazing and rewarding. I wish I could do
a better job to put in words about how I felt everyday. It was a really
scenic hike, also no question about that. But it was more than that. I
think part of it was a challenge. Having done the Desert Trail, I knew more
than most what the GBT would be like. And I honestly didn't know if I had
it in me to finish it. And then knowing how many hikers in the past had
started and got knocked out, there was something motivating of being like
the "last man standing". There was more too. It was just so damn
adventurous. I was using my brain all day everyday, making so many
decisions. There aren't a ton of hikes out there where you really have to
think all day and push yourself this hard just to make."average" progress.
Lastly, a massive thanks and gratitude to Dirtmonger. The man is an
absolute beast, I don't know how he created this route. I thought about
that often, how did he know this canyon would go through, this climb, this
whatever. He probably didn't. He's just strong enough to try it out and
piece together a route like this. One other thing that I really appreciated
was chatting with Dirt over my hike. He was so supportive the entire time.
I really felt like he was cheering me on and hoping that I was successful.
That support helped power me along as well.
That's all for now. I'll be joining Heather on the PNT in a few days. I did
that hike 10 years ago so I don't plan to keep a journal. But I'll be back
with another unique and exciting hike in the Fall most likely.
I'm not sure if I'll keep posting to Instagram this summer. But you can see
pics of the GBT here if you are interested. Heather will probably do the
PNT posting, here is her Instagram too:
[Postscript: it took me 5.5 hours to hitch from the GBT to Ely. It was
fucking brutal! 100 degree day, red flag warning winds, very little water,
no food and very very few cars. But at least 100 cars passed me and didn't
pick me up, very disappointing. I started waving a water bottle at cars
coming the other direction as I was getting very thirsty and a nice old
couple stopped and gave me water. Amazing how many other cars let a thirsty
man die in the middle of nowhere! Finally an 18 wheeler actually stopped.
An Iraqi father/son driving duo, I owe them big time, it's very unusual for
an 18 wheeler to stop but he said what I thought others would think, this
guy must be soooo hot I'll pick him up]
The Great Basin Trail is an ~1,100 mile loop route solely contained within the state of Nevada and the geographic feature of the Great Basin. The route was created as an epic thru-hiking adventure by Ryan "Dirtmonger" Sylva. For more information: http://www.freedirtmonger.com/p/great-basin-trail.html