Mileage: 21.2 km
It’s not the mileage that’s too much. It’s just … the day. So much has happened today I struggle to keep my head straight.
We started getting a sprinkle of rain last night at dinner. I was cautiously optimistic. Then when the sprinkle turned into a downpour after we tucked into bed I was elated.
We woke today to the smell of ozone, clear sky, wet brush and optimistic moods.
We spent some time at breakfast socializing at camp with the other GDT hikers and the other backpackers that turned up last night.
Toothless was in his rain bunting trying to push the boundaries and get into other people’s breakfast and gear.
Natasha and I were finalizing our food and consumables after getting out resupply yesterday.
The hike up Ball Pass was chill and beautiful. Toothless was in a good mood most of the morning so it was an efficient and fun start.
The hike down was slower and less fun. Toothless started getting in a worse mood – we think maybe his new (fifth) tooth is bothering him since he is touching his face and mouth.
We almost got to the highway before it started to sprinkle again. Thinking this was going to be brief we put up the umbrella but didn’t put our rain gear on. Toothless was already in his rain bunting all day to deal with the carwash.
We got to the trailhead and it started pouring down hard! We found the other GDT hikers and huddled under the trailhead sign with them while we geared up and ate lunch.
We ditched our trash in the trashcans, changed Toothless in the outhouse and started walking.
Most of my afternoon was spent under the umbrella trying to hike in the mud.
The trail is through burn and the ground very unstable and muddy. It was slow, challenging and when the rain stopped very hot. Toothless fell asleep and its impossible to take my rain jacket off until he wakes. Boiling!
Many people gave us encouragement, which still weirds me out.
After some breaks and tense conversations we got to Floe Lake and the rain stopped on this side of the mountain.
We ate, met another GDT hiker and saw the treats the large group got hauled in earlier today wishing we took them up on their offer to have something hauled in. We didn’t think we would need it but after today I really just want something comforting.
Toothless got wiggle time inside the tent and after us getting into dry sleep clothes he fell asleep almost instantly. And Natasha and I felt human to be wearing dry clothes. At least until tomorrow morning when we have to put on wet socks and shoes.
Overall the day wasn’t bad but it just felt long. I’m glad we got some rain. Hoping it’s going to help with the wildfires and its at least cleared the sky of haze and smoke. I’m just not glad we spent the day hiking through it in the muddy, brushy part of the trail.
Every day, it gets a little easier.
But you gotta do it every day. That’s the hard part.
But it does get easier.Jogging Baboon; Bojack Horseman