PCT day 50-I was once told by a marine “toughness is not something you are born with, it is developed over time.” This particular marine took a cold shower every morning and said that was one of the many ways he “cut the toughness groove deeper.” During difficult moments of hobbling down the trail, or running out of food, or fighting trough snow I think just how deep my “toughness groove” will be when I’m done. I began the day early as usual and walked along ridges around deadfall lake and the many creeks that flowed into it. The trail was not the nice soft dirt that I enjoy but the rocky slabs that bother my feet. There was a lot more hobbling than actual walking. With sweeping panoramic views the pain in my feet was so far buried in my mind it was only a fleeting thought most of the time. I pushed hard and ended up meeting lots of hikers. Most are of the flip variety. This means they were not into going straight through the snow in the Sierra and jumped up north to hike south through less snowy sections. I met a couple that skipped up and were still hiking north but none who hiked straight through similar to myself. Late in the day I crossed into the Trinity Alps wilderness and the memories of its beauty flooded back. Bald rock peaks still held snow that added to their 8k foot beauty. Alpine lakes dotted the views and it looked much more like the Sierra Nevadas than the notoriously dry lands of Northern California. If I make it to the road early enough tomorrow I will probably try to get in to Etna for a warm meal and to try to recharge tomorrow. And if everything goes right I can get to Etna and then back to the trail. It’s a tough hitch. As I slowly walk around the third side of Shasta I am getting ready to put her in the past.