Daily Miles: 17
Total Miles: 365
It was nice to be in the yurt last night as we heard it raining most of the night. It was good to wake up with all of our stuff dry.
It was still raining when our alarms went off, and we could see through the windows that there was virtually no visibility…we were just in a cloud. We decided to stay in our sleeping bags for another half hour to see if things improved. The visibility improved slightly and it sounded like the rain had tapered off, so we decided to pack up and hit the trail.
We started out at 6:45am and luckily it felt fairly warm as we left the yurt. Most of the day was climbing, and it started right away. We got warmed up pretty quickly, but within 20 minutes it had started raining on us.
As we headed into the exposed trail which we would be on for the rest of the day, the wind became very strong and the rain continued. It was pretty cold out and we quickly felt like frozen popsicles. We put our poles away so we could walk with our hands in our jacket sleeves to try to keep them a little less frozen.
While this cold wind and rain only lasted for about two hours, it was quite miserable. Being so cold is hard, since your body tenses up and you just want to be able to relax. It reminded us of some of the harder/miserable days in Washington on the PCT last fall. Luckily the intensity lessened and the day improved.
We still were getting rained on here and there and we seemed to be constantly taking off and putting on our rain gear. It wasn’t until 2pm that we both had all of our extra layers off…but even that only lasted 20 minutes and SweetPea had her windshirt and gloves back on.
We saw around 10 bikers today who are part of the informal race. The ones we saw in the morning, and who had slept above treeline last night looked pretty haggard. Sounded like they had a pretty cold night with rain and hail and sleet.
The views today were outstanding. It almost seems that the grey skies make the greens of the mountains and valleys more vivid. This area is probably the most spectacular area that we have hiked in before. At each turn in the trail, or as we cross over a pass, we are amazed at the new vista before us.
We had planned to go a few more miles today, but we started to hear thunder over the ridge we were just about to climb over, so we decided to call it a day at 4:30pm. We are sleeping on the ground tonight, since we are still about treeline. We pitched Beardoh’s hammock tarp between some bushes for a cozy setup. Actually it would be much cozier if we weren’t both sleeping on multiple lumps. We tried filling some of the dips with clothes and gear, but it only makes a small improvement. We just try to find a sleeping position which minimizes the annoyance of the lumps. It will be interesting to see how well we sleep tonight. Given that it is only 6:30pm right now and we are both in our sleeping bags, it is safe to predict that it is going to be a long night. 🙂