GDT Day 35 – In the clear yet?

Mileage: 22.1km

Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?

Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
In the clear yet, good

Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift

It rained off and on at the beginning of last night, so even though there was blue sky this morning, we had no hope of avoiding a carwash today. One of the things I love and hate about doing a trail again is that you know what to expect. Knowing what to expect was definitely a negative today as it made me dread the morning.

Toothless was particularly tired today and fell asleep for his first nap before we even started hiking for the day – this annoyed me a bit as it meant he would probably be awake during the worst of the brush. We got on our way though with everyone in full rain gear including ziplocks on his feet for Toothless.

The first little bit wasn’t too bad, but the brush quickly picked up after we crossed Otto Creek. A pair of hikers was hiking this section as well and we leapfrogged with them a few times along here. The only thing that motivated me to move forward was that I knew the brush would improve after we reached the ford and there was no way I was going backwards through what we already did. Toothless also continued to amaze me with how he managed to sleep through constant branches rubbing him as it was impossible to prevent.

We reached the “worst” section which happens to coincide with the “trail” getting close to the Amiskwi, and knowing what lay ahead, we opted to hop over to walk directly in the river rather than trying to stay on the trail. Getting onto the river instantly felt like such a relief and like I could finally breathe again. We had to cross back and forth a few times, but it was easygoing and it’s much more relaxing to be able to see where you are going. When we reached the ford point, the other hikers were taking a break just on the other side and looked surprised to see us wandering up the river.

After this point, the trail is still a bit brushy, but nothing compared to the brush earlier that makes you feel like you can’t escape. While washing diapers at a tributary, the sun even started to peak out which was a welcome surprise. We crossed back to the other side of the Amiskwi and some flagging tape appeared (along with some intermittently cut brush). It was mostly good, but a few small brushy sections made me wish we just walked in the river, but those sections had brought us inland a bit, so it was easier to stick with the flagging.

Along here, Toothless woke from his first afternoon nap and we stopped for what was supposed to be a brief break for everyone to take off their rain gear. It turns out that the weird grunts I’d heard Toothless make at the beginning of his nap had actually been productive and we were very thankful his diaper covers are effective. Diaper changed, cathole dug and everyone out of their rain gear and we were back on our way again trying to pick up the pace a bit to make up for the unexpectedly long break.

The final ascent to the pass is pretty fun with pretty waterfall-ish rocks on the left, though there was no water flowing on them today. We still had a bit further to push after we finally reached the pass as we were doing the Amiskwi Ridge Alternate and needed to reach the road and then climb up past the Amiskwi Lodge to reach our home for the night. It was a relatively steep climb, especially compared to the easy grade earlier in the day, but just under 1km, so it didn’t take us too long.

The lodge was unexpectedly quiet – closed today I guess? I remember I looked into staying there when we made our itinerary, but can’t remember why I didn’t book it…

A few hundred metres past the lodge and we reached our camping spot and Toothless got his first good wiggle session for the day as it was dry and flat, so we didn’t need to restrict him at all as we had earlier. He crawled up and down a little hill with Kyle as I got dinner ready. We quickly ate and then tucked into bed. The days of Toothless going down for the night in just his base layers are long gone as it was already getting chilly at bedtime and he definitely needed to be in his sleeping bag. I even made sure his toque was accessible so I could put it on if needed when he wakes.

Tomorrow we continue on this and another alternate, so new trail to us which should be fun!

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