Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 60
So, the slogan for the CDT (from Yogi’s well known CDT guidebook) is “Embrace the brutality.” After just three days on the trail, we can say that the reputation is well deserved. While the trail itself was pretty descent today, the weather was pretty brutal.
We knew there was a chance of rain today and that the temperature would be quite a bit colder than prior days. The rain came about 45 minutes before we got up in the morning and thankfully stopped right when we were getting up. We were extremely grateful that the rain never came back today, as that probably would have created a pretty unpleasant, if not dangerous, set of conditions.
Instead of rain, we were left with very cold temperatures for most of the day and extremely strong and icy winds. We all started the day being as bundled as possible with wind pants, wind shirts, gloves (sometimes two layers), hats and down jackets. We stayed in those clothes all day, except for a short bit without the down jackets. It is not often that we hike all day with that amount of clothes on. Definitely a sign of how cold it was. We even had a few snow flurries this morning and the trees around our high point of the day were covered on one side with thick frost.
The wind was really the thing that made today so difficult. The wind was so intense and never let up all day. We figured it was often around 60 miles per hour and would almost knock us off our feet, or make it really hard to make forward progress. By the afternoon, our eyes and faces hurt from the wind. It was hard to try and find a little nook for breaks that would be a bit sheltered from the wind.
Our shoulders are feeling pretty tight this evening from tensing them up all day in the cold. It will probably take a few days before they feel back to normal.
We made it to camp by 6:15pm, which we were all really excited about. It had been a really tough day and we were all ready to just lay in our hammocks.
Luckily SweetPea was feeling better today…no nausea or heart burn on the uphill. It was a good thing since we had so much uphill today and it would have been painful to have to stop for frequent breaks with the wind and cold. She is also getting a bit of her appetite back which hopefully will help with the energy level.