Today I successfully completed my most significant micro-goal since the McFlurry incident back at Cajon Pass (well over 600 miles ago).
In a measure that should not surprise many people, this micro-goal revolved around food.
For this post I'll assign "micro-goal" my own meaning:
Micro-goal: a goal that originates within 24-48 hours of potential completion that has little to no impact on completing the overall PCT.
Some may recall that I chose, for the first time in my life, to hike 26.2 trail miles in a day, to purchase a McFlurry by dinner time.
There were a couple factors that went into that decision which I outlined in a previous post.
This time around, about 35 trail miles away from the nearest town, Sierra City, I realized my positioning was less than ideal. This self revelation occured around 6 PM yesterday. Through my app I was able to confirm the town's general store closed by 5 PM on Sundays (today). The general store was 1.5 miles off trail.
With not much daylight left on Saturday the choice was simple:
- Push hard to cover 35 trail miles in less than 24 hours.
- Continue at a normal pace and arrive in Sierra City (population 235) on Monday morning-ish.
The implications of Option 2 were that I'd probably run out of my three (3) remaining Clif bars, my single Pop Tart, and the rest of my Sour Patch Kids on Sunday. This would leave mac & cheese as the only food left on Monday. This was a less than ideal, but still a manageable situation.
With a burger and soda moving up two future meal spots as the prize, I chose Option 1. And the results were worth the 4 AM wake up call. Hiking by 5 AM, I caught a stellar mountain sunrise.
With some hustle I covered the 23.5 miles by 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I walked the extra mile and a half to Sierra City, and by 4 o'clock I had my order in for a surpringly awesome one-pound burger.
The micro-goals amplify the focus on the day at hand. Today, more so than days without a micro-goal, was all about the miles I needed to get in by 5 pm. And that adds a spice to my hiker life that keeps things interesting out here.
What were some of my other previous micro-goals out here so far?
- No map for a day.
- Jump in the next river or lake regardless of temperature.
- No music for a day.
- My failed attempt to reach the Mt. Whitney summit by sunrise. Up hiking by 2:30 AM I just missed it by 30 minutes, but the night time hike added an unexpectedly fun element to the ascent.
Best micro-goal I've encountered another hiker pursuing?
- I ran into a hiker with the trail name Hobo Joe while he was executing 24 hours of silence. He had a sign...