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Arkansas High Country, day 11: Witts Spring to Fifty-Six

June 18, 2019 ~ Witts Spring to Fifty-Six

I'd convinced myself that yesterday was the last hard day, so this was the day I faced that lie. After reaching Witts Spring I'd made the mistake of looking closer at my upcoming route and realizing that the 100 miles to my intended destination would cost me another 9,000 feet of elevation gain. It's just like riding day 2 of Tour of Hermann, I told myself, but the reassurance rang hollow.

The story of my race was grim determination and an infinite capacity for self-deception, but even so I had a hard time leaving Witts Spring in the morning. I drank a lot of coffee, ate a lot of food, and finally stopped stalling and headed out a little after 8.

I spotted this guy within minutes of leaving the community center. I hadn't seen a single turtle until day 10, so their frequent appearance in my last few days seemed like a thinly veiled message: Remember how you wanted to finish in 10 days? That had been the original goal, but after …

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