I had the alarm set for 4am this morning and snoozed for a full hour until I saw light starting to creep through the cracks of the hut. I woke up Chris and we both ran up to the peak with a bag of granola and our cameras.
It was extremely cold waiting for the sun to come up. There were some magnificent colours in the sky but after waiting almost an hour we both thought that maybe there was too much cloud cover to see any more. That’s when suddenly this big glowing red ball peeked out of the cloud cover. It was so unexpected and surreal the way it rose out of the clouds, like the world was giving birth to a huge red burning mass. The picture doesn’t quite capture the effect but it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.
After a quick cup of coffee in the hut it was time to pack up and hit the trail again. The walk to the stream was an easy one but after filling up on 5 litres of water to last the next 20 miles my pack was back to it’s regular heavy weight. I felt like a donkey trying to move it up some of the switch backs that followed.
Fuller Ridge had been talked up to be one of the most treacherous parts of the trail. I hadn’t read this myself but Chris had slight anxiety about this track and we had heard there was lots of snow from hikers that had passed that section earlier. We reached the end before realising we’d even gone through it. I guess the snow must have melted pretty quickly. There is a big storm expected to roll in tomorrow so I’m glad we missed it by at least a day.
I could see some of the forest fires that have been reported near the trail burning in the distance. They’re about 15 miles away and blowing in the opposite direction for now so hopefully they won’t affect the trail.
The rest of the day was downhill. I wore both my ankle and knee brace which was lucky because both Chris and I took a few falls on the way down and there were so many rocks to twist my ankles on. I also used some of Igor’s magic cream for my sore shoulders. He wasn’t lying when he said the cream will heat up the skin. It got so hot in fact that I had to pour water down my back to cool off.
We set up camp in a windy ridge not far beyond the 200 mile mark. My tent does not do well in the wind so I have at least 6 big rocks holding it down tonight. Hopefully this time it will remain upright!