Toothless was up at least 5 times last night, so I wasn’t at all bright-eyed and cheery, ready to face the day this morning. Maybe the off-and-on rain kept waking him? Thankfully he goes back down quickly after nursing, but the lack of continuous sleep made me very slow moving as we packed up.
Toothless was also in a mood this morning and it seemed like he didn’t feel well-rested either as he dozed off during his nursing session right before we were going to start on the trail. Kyle was still doing diaper laundry, so at least we weren’t sitting doing nothing while we waited for Toothless to wake again. He was only asleep for 20 or 30 minutes, so not a full nap, but still a decent delay on the day.
Finally we got on the trail, everyone in the rain gear once again ready to face the wet brush ahead of us. The sections in the forest had a decent amount more deadfall than I remembered and progress was slower than we would have liked. It’s rather frustrating since the trail is otherwise in pretty good shape and it would only take a few people with some handsaws and loppers to clear the majority of the annoying stuff. If Jasper ever allows the GDTA to do a proper trail maintenance trip out here, I’d be very down to go.
We finally got some sunshine and clear skies when we reached the willows in the valley which was much appreciated for the pretty views, but annoying since all the willows meant we had to have our pack covers on and we couldn’t take advantage to dry the diapers.
The ford of Maligne River was delightfully low this year. Previously it has been thigh to crotch-depth, but this year it was below my knees. And the island the old bridge sits on wasn’t even an island, there was no braiding of the river and there was only 1 section to cross.
More willows after the ford and then we popped back into the forest for the majority of the remaining trail to Trapper Creek. Once again, we got slowed down by the deadfall. Then the final challenge of the Maligne Valley presents itself – mud. Despite all the recent rain, it was actually pretty manageable and mostly just slippery rather than shoe-eating.
The mud meant we were close to camp though! One more small meadow (that was mostly cleared a few years ago), then a few hundred metres in the forest, then camp! We could enjoy the picnic tables and string up a line to dry diapers. The weather had other plans though and rain rolled in just as we reached camp.
I am so over the rain. I don’t mind it normally, but with Toothless it adds so much stress and he really doesn’t like hiking in the rain either – we don’t give him as many wiggle breaks on the ground and we try to lengthen the time between diaper changes to minimize how wet he gets, so I totally understand that he’s not a fan.
Tomorrow is a short day and we hope to take full advantage of Maligne Lodge for a few hours. Originally I was hoping to eat a lot to help make up for the distinct lack of food on this stretch, but at this point I think what will make me happiest is if they have blowdriers we can use to dry Toothless’ diapers.