July 9th, 2019
Mm 377 to mm 406.3
Distance in miles: 29.3
Today was just so-so and not a lot to describe. I had a great night listening to the pitter patter of rain on my tent for hours. It tailed off as it was getting light but started drizzling again just as I was packing up. My stuff inside stayed dry but the tent was a sodden mess. We scampered down from our stealth spot and road walked some more. We immediately turned on the wrong junction and walked a quarter of a mile off trail. Back-up and try this again.
Just as we came to single-track and our first climb, it started to rain more steadily, especially the higher we got. The top was all socked in and cold. We hurried down, passing a Duplex and Solplex tent next to one another…our twins in shelters except that we have camo tents. The occupants were taking a rain zero or nero it seemed.
Half the day was spent in gloomy rain, cold, and sad logged forests. The other half saw the weather gradually improve into blue skies again. The forests also improved, looking lush and full, with many interspersed meadows. The trail was pretty nice but very rocky. My feet really hurt by the end.
Besides the tents we passed, there was no one on trail. We thought we might go a whole day without seeing another hiker but a dude came out of nowhere from behind and passed us in the last few miles. We hadn’t seen him before and weren’t sure if we had passed him earlier or he had truly caught us. There aren’t too many that could catch us with the pace we’ve been setting but he did have a small pack and was also a flip-flopper, so he had trail legs.
We caught him again at our last water source. We grabbed water and headed on because the mosquitoes were so bad. We found an old road with some nice flat spots for our tents but unfortunately still lots of mosquitoes. At the beginning of the day we were hoping to do 33 miles. Something about this day was so tough that we only managed 29…only. Chalk it up to the rain and having to spend time drying my tent. Or just a lot of ups and downs with hundreds of blow-downs to climb over.