Today was a tough day. I started early as per usual and was on the trail by 6:45am. I grabbed some water from the Waptus River before heading up the first of three big climbs for the day. I climbed a total of 8453 feet and descended 6815 feet over 30.2 miles; which may explain the exhausted state I’m currently in.
I was extremely tired for at least the first two hours today; to the point I was almost walking with my eyes half shut. I didn’t make coffee this morning which probably contributed to my lethargic state, but I think yesterday tired me out so much it lingered into the start of today.
Music helped boost morale and got me up the first big climb. The day varied between drizzling and pouring rain, with the morning a little more forgiving than the afternoon. I had decided to break when the sun came out so I could dry my tent, but because the sun never appeared I barely stopped at all during the day except to get water and stretch. There were also a few river crossings which slowed me down, especially one which was listed as ‘potentially hazardous’ in Halfmile’s notes.
Rafiki and Hercules caught up to me after the river crossing as I took at least 15 minutes to assess and the cross on the slippery logs successfully. It seemed once across the rain simply got heavier and heavier. Because I was too cold to stop, I didn’t have a proper lunch break leaving me hungry, tired and cold, my most lethal combination. At one point as I trudged through the muddy trail river with freezing cold hands from my soaking gloves, I got really worried about hypothermia and being so wet. It played on my mind until I finally almost lost it. (I think the rain blocked the mic at the end of the video so it’s a little muffled. Hopefully my phone will dry out alright!)
I ended up having a quick 10 minute break to get my Fritos and cookies out of my bag. This became my lunch on the run, and I almost did have to run to warm up after almost freezing once I’d stopped. On the way down the second climb I bumped into Night Crawler, her dad and Belgium Red who I hadn’t met before. I must have been close to hypothermic as I asked Belgium Red if she was from South Africa. She gave me a puzzled look and told me she was from Belgium! Dah Muk Muk. There is a South African girl just ahead of me who I haven’t met yet either, so I jumped to conclusions immediately without even thinking!
It was 7.5 miles from where I was at to Mig Lake, where I am now. It was already 4:45pm and we had one more steep pass to climb in between. I decided I would need to hike super fast with no breaks to reach camp before dark, which is basically what I did. I have no idea where my magical energy came from but I flew up the pass. Coming down the other side proved more difficult because of all the water and mud on the trail. For about an hour I expected Mig Lake to be right about the corner at the rate I was hiking; but the trail went on forever until it did get dark and I found myself walking through the middle of giant puddles as I didn’t want to stop and get my headlamp out.
Everything was soaking wet when I finally reached camp. I managed to get myself dry and warm in my sleeping bag but tomorrow is going to be horrific putting freezing cold wet clothes on. I may just hike in my long johns to Highway 2. Thank goodness I’m heading into town, I can’t imagine another trail day without sunshine to dry things out!