The rain started overnight, but was very considerate and stopped while we were packing up camp. We were out and hiking at first light…that means 7:30ish these days. Daylight savings starts tomorrow, but we’ll still follow the sun’s lead, not some arbitrary number on a watch.
We started down a section of trail that Amber had helped clear before and found a few more logs for her to come back and address with her chainsaw. The forest was dripping with rain, but flashes of blue sky still teased us from above…this would be the general pattern of the day.
Umbrellas up, Umbrellas down, rain coats on, raincoats off. We made progress and periodically had views back towards Mary’s Peak….a hiker on the C2C could summit Mary’s Peak if they wish…we did not wish, so kept moving.
Lunch found us near one of the numerous C2C kiosks that had been installed. They all contain slips to register your hike, but I’d suggest they add a trail register note book so we could read tid bits of those who had come before us, or leave advice of our own, like: “bring more whisky for this section.” (We ran out of whisky today).
Even better for a lunch break? Sun!!! We plopped down in a rare patch of sun and had a glorious lunch and lie-down in the warming light. We have been pretty lucky with the sun on this hike…but then came the hail.
We had walked close to Harlan, a town that time forgot, (a town with no services that is, not a pizza food truck to be found) when a great rush of wind pushed a small hail storm into us. We sought refuge under a giant doug fir tree as the squall passed.
Later we pulled over briefly to let some traffic pass….30 cows and a few cowgirls on horses that is, and kept walking.
On and on, and on and on. We plod up the road (plenty of road walking today, but also lovely little stretches of trail) and decide to skip checking out Big Elk Campground (the half way point!) and decided to make a few more miles before stopping for camp.
We turned onto some new trail construction and got a few liters of water for the night at a stream crossing before climbing up the many switchbacks to the ridge above. The next section of trail paralleled a road, and after we crossed the road and climbed up and the road stayed level, posited that the road may be a less “oofta” inducing experience.
Aches and pains update: my legs feel like lead weight and my feet are angry. Amber reports feet feeling like hamburger (echoing a comment I made at one point yesterday), and sore shoulders. Since I am writing this in the dark early morning of the next day, she also adds “my neck hurts because I can’t sit up in my tent and have to hunch over. ” Note to Amber: get a new tent.
We made camp right before another heavy rain storm unleashed the wet from above, but we are buttoned up warm and dry to welcome another 14-hour night.