I haven’t been feeling well since we got Subway in Independence and the girl making our sandwiches told us it was her last day because she’s been sick for so long. Great. This morning after a cold, restless nights sleep, I had a terrible headache and finally fell asleep when the sun came up enough to start creating warmth. The only thing that made me poke my head out of my sleeping bag at 8am was the sound of UB making coffee.
Even after a good breakfast we both didn’t feel full of energy, opting to stop an hour in at a cute little spot near the lake. It would have been a lovely spot bar the hundreds of mosquitos landing on us. I rubbed deet on any exposed skin surface including my face (is that bad?), while UB chose to test out his head net. He soon discovered the challenges of eating and drinking with his new veil on.
Another hiker who we camped with called Messenger (an Israeli guy who makes his own bread) caught up with us and we all managed to lose the trail after a tricky river crossing. Using Guthook’s app I figured out we were on the wrong side of the mountain, and instead of backtracking, we chose to scramble up the rocks to get to the other side. Most of the morning descended deeper and deeper into the valley which meant we were in for some climbing this afternoon. At the base of the climb we stopped for lunch to fuel up on spam, cheese and a peanut butter tortilla. A couple of miles in we were so focused on getting up the mountain that we almost missed the 800 mile marker. Luckily Messenger was ahead of us to point it out. (My signal is so bad it’s taken me 3 hours to add photos to this post already so the next few will need to be small.)
The climb just went on and on and on. We walked right next to a huge waterfall which must thunder through in high snow years, but even the gorgeous views didn’t take away from the pain of the giant steps which are such a challenge for my little Muk Muk legs.
Pinchot Pass was still 3 miles away when we bumped in Turtle and Willow camped opposite a beautiful lake around 4:30pm. We were both feeling pretty fatigued and decided it would be wise to camp here so we still had plenty of light to set up camp. This was a great option as the mountains surrounding our camp site are simply stunning and as we cooked dinner I commented to UB about how lucky we were to have a view like this from our kitchen.
We tried to consume as much food as possible so our packs will be lighter tomorrow. This included the mini bottles of rum and Kahlua (courtesy of BJ) which we put in our evening coffee and shared with Willow and Turtle. Thanks BJ, but I think you’ve stared something we may need to continue along the trail! I think I’ll sleep better tonight as it doesn’t feel as cold and I’m in a tent, not cowboy camping tonight!