Floe Lake was still enveloped in clouds when we woke in the morning, so despite no more rain overnight, there was plenty of moisture still in the air. Toothless’ diapers were slightly less wet, but not anywhere close to dry, so we would be crossing our fingers we would hike above the cloud and into the sun to dry them once we got on trail.
The carrier and Toothless’ shoes were still wet, so we put him in his rainsuit with ziploc bags over his feet for the first stretch of trail. We started the final climb up towards Numa Pass and slowly we started to peek above the cloud as we gained elevation and the sun worked its magic burning off the cloud. The typical view down towards Floe Lake was blocked by a cloud still stuck on top of the lake, but still beautiful.
Once we popped over the pass, the breeze roused Toothless from his nap and we took advantage of the sun to yardsale his diapers and our wet gear. We took a pretty extended break as we waited for at least one diaper to be dry enough to put on him and then got going again towards Numa Creek.
The descent was long and slow and quickly brought us back into the forest. We leapfrogged a few times with a solo hiker doing a portion of the GDT, passing her for the last time as she stopped to chat with a couple going southbound on the Rockwall Trail. I guess she mentioned us before we arrived, as the couple commented we were brave as we passed. Eventually though we reached Numa Creek around lunch and took advantage of the eating tables and benches to fully dry everything out while we ate lunch. Toothless was still asleep though when we arrived, so lunch became quite extended as we needed to wait for him to wake. It was good though as we were able to dry most of his diapers fully.
Then began our big climb towards Tumbling Pass. Apparently I’m good at blocking the less good parts of the trail out as I had absolutely no recollection of this section which is probably good as I might have dreaded today if I remembered it. The trail was extremely brushy for such as established trail and was also much steeper than expected. Toothless managed to sleep through all the brush which was appreciated, but I was also half-expecting us to bump into a grizzly since we didn’t want to make sounds to avoid waking him as we hiked past ripe berry bushes. Thankfully we didn’t bump into any grizzlies, just more folks heading southbound on the Rockwall Trail and a handful more comments about how brave we are 🙄
Finally we escaped the bushes, only to be greeted by several streams that required us to get our newly dry feet wet again to cross. I remembered this section, but when we’ve previously done it, these streams barely qualified as a rock hop, I guess yesterday’s rain increased their flow quite substantially today.
Finally we reached Tumbling Pass and the classic views of near vertical mountains and glaciers that the Rockwall Trail is known for. Another break for Toothless to wiggle and enjoy a snack and then we got on our way as the trail took us back down hill again.
Our long breaks from early in the day caught up with us as we reached Tumbling Creek around 5pm which is generally the latest Toothless is happy to tolerate hiking until and we still had another 3km and 300m elevation gain to go. Kyle somehow managed to sing most of the way up towards Wolverine Pass to keep Toothless entertained and at least tolerant of hiking even if he didn’t necessarily enjoy it.
Just past 6pm and we made it to the boundary markers and opted for the first camping spot tucked by the trees just outside of the park. A quick dinner and then we all tucked into bed – only two more days until a cold beer and a warm shower!