23.9 miles hiked. Camping @5062 ft
I wake up super early and ignore my need to use the “loo” for as long as possible. My phone says 528am and a second later the alarm is sounding. Booo I forgot we are getting up early today to try and get some miles in before the forecasted rain hits.
I pack up, stuff my pockets with snacks, put on my R1, rainpants and jacket. My wet shoes are made bearable by my waterproof socks. Yay hopefully dry feet today.
We climb up through some snow patches and have about an hour’s grace before the temperature drops faaast. There is some hail, then the rain starts.
We turn around a bend and have a view of the valley below – the Chinese wall spreads out before us! It’s very cool with a valley of thick green pines in front and the dark storm clouds up above. The trail takes a turn as it descends and we hike along the front of the wall. The sun comes out so we have a break, drink some water, munch on some food, stare at the epic wall above us.
The clouds come back fast as we head up and over another pass. It’s raaaainy but not nearly as cold as the other day. It’s a mudslide hike and I end up hiking more cross country tha on trail as I keep sliding backwards!
By the time we reach the top the rain has decreased to a very light drizzle, and the sun even comes out on the descent.
It’s a really pretty trail and spirits are high despite the weather. I’ll take the on and off drizzle over the freezing storm any day!
The rest of the day we are following along the side of the sun river. There are some burn sections but it is very pretty looking down from the mountain side to the river and the flat grasslands either side. The clouds and rain are in and out all day and we cross fingers we make it to camp before the next bout of rain. Nothing worse than setting up or packing up camp in the rain.
We cross a really cool bridge and enter a big burn zone. The wind whistles through the burnt trees and makes the most eerie noise – like people screaming far away. Somehow there is a magic clearing in which we set up, with no trees to fall on us during the night. I half think this is just over reacting, but as the wind picks up I hear a large crack as a tree falls down not too far away.
Tonight we are stupid. We eat in our tents as the rain is not stopping. We keep the food in our tents as there is nowhere to hang it. We haven’t seen any bear tracks or signs… hopefully we will be ok. Of not… well…it will make a good story 😉