12 hours to go 7.5 miles? I knew the going would be tough, but holy cow!
Soon after I started hiking I came to some huge boulders choking the creek. Climbing up I saw my options were to swim the deep pool on the other side, or blow up my boat! I opted for the boat, and used my throw bag to lower the boat into the water, then lowered myself down.
Since I had already spent the time to transition to the packraft, I wanted to try and use it…so for most of the day I pool hopped down the creek. I probably could have made better time with my pack on, but there would have been significant swimming, so I was good with my choice.
The going was slow though. Each time a pool would end I would heft the boat (all my gear is stored inside the boat) onto one shoulder and often have to push my way through thick willows and thorny bushes. I was crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t pop my boat, and seemed to do ok.
It was exhausting. The load was extremely heavy on my shoulders and they ached terribly after a few hours. I was being very intentional with each step because I am extremely remote out here. Lots to pay attention to…but I missed something. I had my gopro out in the late afternoon, and when I took a break and decided to put the boat away and hike again, I realized it was gone. I could have sworn I put it away, but it wasn’t in my day bag. Shoot! I left my gear and hiked back a bit, but didn’t find it. I hope one of the next hikers down here finds it!!!
It was a good call to put the boat away, because soon after I started again there were HUGE boulders to climb up and around. Think Mooshic notch on the AT.
I inched along and had to go for a swim…up to my neck!
I stopped at a gravel bar for camp. I was starving, soaking wet, and Soooo tired.