You wake up stiff and sore to the gentle roar of pounding waves and the slow tip-tap-tapping of drumming rain. You aren’t ready to get up, not yet. You stretch your legs, feel the ache, feel the tension build and release. Everything is a little damp, a little dirty, a light splattering of mud on your clothes and inside walls of your tent, thicker clumps caked to your boots and gaiters. The air is fresh and vibrant and you hear other hikers already packing up and preparing breakfast, a low crackle of campfire. And just like that a slow wall of excitement hits you and you’re eager to poke your head out and see what the day will offer.

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“I really want to be on the WCT. This is my third full year trying to qualify. The first year doesn’t really count because I started really good and then I broke my ankle. I’m trying to approach this year with a solid plan and strategy — I think if you get 11,000 points, you’re safe. Now that the ‘QS is its own separate tour there’s a lot better chance of qualifying; 10 new guys can make it. Hopefully I can figure it out this year. I just have to keep it together mentally.” - Evan Geiselman

Photo: Jimmicane