251.2 @ 6063ft
The rain falls all night long, not very hard, but the pitter patter on the tent is incessant. Perhaps it was soothing and distracting me from the knowledge that I should be a bear’s midnight snack after eating dinner in my tent and keeping my food under my feet. Or maybe that was the advil pm. Either way I slept beautifully. I want to get up early but can’t find a window of dry to do it in.Eventually I give in and somehow manage to pack everything and put on all my rain gear inside the tent.
I’m out of camp before the guys who are still packing up when I leave. The trail is actually nicely maintained, the rain is keeping things cool, and it’s a nice gradual up and down topography that make the morning’s walk beautiful. I’m zoning out listening to Robin Arzon on my podcast and the miles go by fast. Yay!!! I’d forgotten what a satisfying morning hike felt like.
I keep expecting the guys to catch up to me but I’ve covered the 7.something miles to Benchmark Resort and haven’t seen them yet. This is exciting for me. Speedy Mcspeedikins! I sent my next 3 days of food to Benchmark along with the $25 fee and cross fingers my box is there. It’s not actually open so I climb under the fence at the front to get in. My resupply box is in a bear can on the porch of a cabin and I packsplode over the porch to arrange my things and restock my food.
Patience wanders over -she doesn’t hike on Saturdays and is zeroing here with Dupont and Llama. I chat with her and then Llama who appears, then finally Grizzly and Crunchmaster wander in with Alex and Coop following. Dupont is awake now to so it’s a hiker party! So many hikers!
We all chat as Grizzly and Crunchmaster sort out their food, then finally give in to the inevitable, say goodbye to the zeroing crew and hike on. Fastest resupply ever!
It’s freezing as we leave and backtrack a couple of miles to jump on the trail. As we hike on the sun comes out and suddenly I’m roasting and my R1 and jacket are stuffed away. Hot cold hot cold. ‘Tis the way here!
The trail follows along a stream through fairly thick forest for most of the day, then as we join back up with the official trail it thins out and there are large burn zones either side of the trail and river. I look at my topo maps and see in tiny writing that there might be a cabin in a few miles. This means a nice area cleared away, and maybe a pit toilet. Hopefully it wasn’t burnt down when this fire went through.
We take a chance down a side trail and yay there is a cabin!!! The cabins are always locked, but have large porches for us to sit on and usually a toilet. This toilet is locked too. BOOOO! Back to cat hole digging.
It’s a nice early night in preparation for some big climbs tomorrow. We hang our bags and cccccold sets in early; all the layers on tonight!