GDT kms: 29.9
For the first time in several days, it isn’t a super cold morning, so I decide to opt for wearing shorts only rather than pulling my dance pants on like I have the past few days. Shortly after we start, I realize this wasn’t the best decision – once we are down in the meadow, it is both frosty and brushy, but it’s a hassle to put on my pants as the cuffs are too small to go over my shoes, so I just push on.
We are quickly up Surprise Pass, the last real alpine of the trail, but unfortunately smoke rolled in again last night and is really limiting our views – probably a good thing we aren’t opting for any of the high alternatives as we wouldn’t be able to see anything anyways.
The rest of our day is through brushy, muddy meadows, but otherwise good and we make pretty good time. I end up leading us Slightly off course when trail disappeared at Broadview, but Kyle got us back on track pretty quickly.
We reach Kakwa Lake and are delighted to see the cabin is just as nice as people said it would be – we actually walked right by the cabin initially because we thought it was too nice to be a public cabin and we went straight for the woodshed thinking it looked more appropriate.
At the volunteer caretaker cabin, we meet John and Joan who are true trail angels – they treat us to dinner and conversation. We are the first people through in over 10 days – seems like the smoke has deterred everyone from visiting.
We end our evening by taking advantage of the wood stove to dry laundry and enjoy a warm dry night indoors.