I hiked and ran north to south on Day 1 carrying all food and water with me. I saw only 5 people in the first 2.5 miles, and then no one else the remainder of the long afternoon/evening hours. I only had a few ounces of water left for the last 10 miles, but found refreshment in picking wild blueberries along the way before darkness fell. Over an hour after sunset and finally at the halfway point, I retrieved food, water, and backpacking gear which had been stowed in the car of my support crew of one. We then both hiked north 1/2 a mile to camp. In the morning, I took off running from camp with plenty of food and water. My support (now a pacer) met me at the midpoint of the trail. I refilled my water as she and I finished out the last 12 miles together.
The trail surface was very dry the whole way, with more rocky sections than uninterrupted packed dirt. Thigh-high grass covered in level, foot-sized rocks. Soft, smooth, scented piney sections were a rare treat underfoot. The weather was temperate for summer: warm, but neither blazing with heat nor intense with humidity. There was plenty of shade under the trees that lined the trail, and there was no rainfall. Wildlife was mostly absent at this elevation, except for an abundance of raptors, turkeys, and small birds. Breathtaking mountain views and overlooks perpetuated along the steep, continual cliffside.