C2c Day 3 – 17 miles (53.5 miles total)

Ha ha, joke’s on me.

I went to bed feeling smug because we were going to hike as if the time change didn’t happen today. We hike by the light of day!
Then I woke up, started my morning coffee and writing routine and the sky started to lighten. What the?

Because my phone had been on airplane mode, I didn’t think it would change time automatically. I thought I was besting the system, but the whole time I was playing with time I was getting played.

Doh! 

The phone did change.We got a later start.
But did that extra half hour help our bodies knit themselves back together after all the stress we have been putting them under? I like to think so.

We immediately started sweating on a trail climb. The trail wove through old growth and the ferns and moss were getting mossier if that is even possible. These forest appear to be saturated most of the time…the undergrowth is thick and jungly.

We climbed up and up and may have been a bit grumbley about it until we came to a pair of big ‘ol trees and we adjusted our attitudes accordingly. 

I made the mistake of sitting down during morning break when it wasn’t raining, and we got chilled when our bodies cooled. Geez, I won’t do that again, it take too long to warm up after that. 

Managing the wet. That’s the phase of the hike we are in now. It started pouring when we were packing up, so both of our tents are soaked through. We both have wet feet, and the only solution is to keep moving. 

We had a chat about being safe in the cold wet out here, and we both agreed to keep each other apprised if we slipped into the “danger cold” phase where we would stop and fix or hike out. We still had dry sleeping bags and some dry layers…still in good shape if we manage the wet appropriately. 
More climbing and rain and lush green rainforest. We had much to admire today.
Lunch was in a rare spot of sun. I know! We are still so lucky with the sun…we didn’t expect to see any.

We kept it brief and started up Palmer Mountain, our last big climb of the trip. We’ll be done tomorrow already!

Then we hiked in best part of all, a dense old growth forest. We had to weave in and out and around the verdant life, ducking beneath green hairy branches of a forest older than everything. 

We got water next to a rushing little creek, and started up a climb. We climbed and climbed…the trail was an old road bed here so the climb was slow and gradual at just enough incline that we had to initiate the grind.

And then…at the top, but not top. We didn’t go to the summit, the road just leveled out. 
And we kept walking. A few more miles downhill brought us to a churned up hill of dirt, and we poked around looking for a flat spot to camp. Finding none but eyeing the sky that was about to start dumping on us, we decided to throw up our tents on the gravel side of the road. 

I had helped Amber put rocks on her rain fly (the ground was too hard for stakes) and had just hurriedly started putting mine up when the water came. We didn’t make it. We were still wrapped in our rain coats and trash bags and our packs were covered, but we both had rivers running through our tents. I think there were a few balls of hail too.

The sky dumped. 

We kept putting our tents up. We had to get in those wet things stat and transition to dry asap.

Once inside we kept to the islands of our inflatable sleeping pads and watched the puddles surrounding us grow.

I ate snacks and surveyed the damage: everything is kinda wet, but I know my body heat will dry out some of it over night, the temps shouldn’t too cold, and I had hot food and drinks to look forward to.

Amber was in a similar state, and every once in a while when we could hear each other over the pounding couchaphany of the rain on our tents, we shouted encouragements.

We were alive and dry with snacks. And tomorrow we would walk to the sea. 

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