Mileage: 15.4km + 9.0 bonus km for Natasha
We were the first ones up this morning and took full advantage of the large picnic table, but it wasn’t too long until the “Lesser Divide Trail” group arrived as well as the couple with the dog, so we tried to minimize our overflow. It took a little while for us to get on trail was we had to wash almost all the diapers as we didn’t do laundry last night and Toothless peed on two fresh ones when getting changed this morning. Eventually we were off though, managing to be the first ones on the trail.
Our first climb of the day was towards Healy Pass with about 300m of elevation to gain, so not too bad. We managed to get over the pass and partway down towards Egypt Lake before Toothless woke from his first nap. A quick snack and wiggle break on the side of trail also featured 2 diaper changes as he’s recently decided the best time to poop is just after he gets a fresh diaper.
Then we continued down to Egypt Lake, the shelter was still closed and we skipped the side trip to actually visit Egypt Lake as we needed to get to camp early enough for one of us to hike the ~4km to pickup our resupply and then back again. Up towards Whistling Pass had a few fun parts over rocks and we enjoyed the clearest skies we’ve had since we started Section C with views of the lovely mountains in the area. This type of landscape is exactly what I love about the GDT and was very appreciated after many of the previous days have left me feeling meh.
We took our lunch break just over the pass and yard-saled all the diapers to dry them out. At lunch we decided that I would pick up the resupply from Shadow Lake Lodge, so Kyle carried Toothless and I set a speedy pace for us as I wanted to be able to get the box and return to camp at a reasonable time so we could do dinner together with Toothless.
We managed to make good time and got to camp at Ball Pass junction just before 3pm. Toothless was still enjoying his afternoon nap, so I helped Kyle get his pack off, took everything out of my bag except for water and the inreach, and headed off towards Shadow Lake.
I made good time, hiking the 4km to the lake in 45 minutes and was somewhat surprised by the number of people fishing and swimming at the lake outlet. Unfortunately the lodge wasn’t marked on my maps or the park signage and I needed to decide if it was left or right at the junction. I picked left and followed it for 500m or so before deciding it was the wrong direction and turning back. About 500m down the trail in the correct direction brought me to the lodge though and their nice looking cabins. I walked over to the main building and a helpful worker came out and helped track down my package and then sent me off with a few cookies and fresh fruit!
I zipped back towards camp with a pack full off food, passing 3 hikers along the way who were also headed to Ball Pass junction to camp. Kyle and Toothless were conveniently already at the cook area when I rolled in. The “Lesser Divide Trail” group had also arrived and was hanging out contemplating when to start their dinner. Kyle organized the food while I breastfed Toothless and got a few baby snuggles.
We were almost finished dinner by the time the other hikers I passed arrived and then we tucked into the tent for the night just as rain started. Hopefully it knocks all the smoke out of the air and the areas with fires are getting some helpful precipitation too!