Day 147: Mountain Mist

September 8, 2017: Hiked Miles 2504.2 to 2529.0 (24.8 total)

Another nine hours of sleep last night. Life is good. We woke up to a very overcast, wet morning. The rainfly was soaked and everything else was a little damp, but luckily it wasn’t too cold.

Definitely feels like I’m in Washington this morning.

Our morning started with a downhill for once, through the misty forest. We crossed over the beautiful White Chuck River.

And then another creek which was filled with debris.

The mist finally cleared up a bit so that we could see where we were walking.

And then we started the obstacle course. Huge downed trees we had to climb over, the trail overgrown with soaking wet bushes smacking you in the face every other foot, and a trail full of mud and water. We were soaked in no time.

We made our way to the bottom of the hill and then crossed over Kennedy Creek, broken bridge and all.

And then we started a steep climb through more soaking wet bushes and a cloud of mist. 

By the time we got to the top we were soaked and starving so we found the only dry piece of ground we could under a tree and ate a snack and tried to shake some water off. But the only way to stay warm in this kind of weather is to keep moving, so our break was short and we set off again to brave the wet weather.

The mist finally let up and we started to dry out and warm up a bit. We made it down to a pretty little valley just as the sun was popping through the clouds to reveal a gorgeous sight. It’s so nice to finally see blue sky for once.

And then we started another long climb. Up and up we went. The trail was a deep trench covered in roots and rocks and it definitely kicked our butts. But luckily the sun stayed out and kept us happy.

It felt so great to reach the top and look down a steep dropoff to a deep canyon below.

The mist was trying to burn off and we finally had some good views of all the magnificent mountains we have been missing the past few days.

After we crested the top, we headed straight back down the other side. 

We came upon this gorgeous mountain lake with the bluest water I have ever seen.

Our trail down was steep but we flew down it and finally ended up at a rocky creek a little after 2:00 where we stopped to have lunch. 
We were famished, but we set everything out to dry before eating and then stuffed our faces and basked in the intermittent sun. These hills are really zapping all of our energy.

I can’t believe how hungry I have been all day. Even with a huge lunch, I feel like I could still eat a whole sandwich if I had it.

Once the clouds started rolling in, we packed up all our stuff before it got wet again and kept hiking. We hiked a couple more miles down to the river and on the way I decided to faceplant. I don’t know what happened, one second I was walking and the next I was flat on my face on the ground. I landed mostly on my knees so my knee braces saved my knees from getting torn up, but my right side and leg did get a little beat up. The worst part was, since I fell on a downhill my backpack slid way up on me towards my head and when I tried to get up it just kept choking me. I’m sure it was a pretty hilarious sight. I know Colton was holding back fits of laughter. Good thing he did. I don’t think I would have thought it was funny at the time. He tried to help me up, but the only way up was to unstrap myself and wriggle out.

Once I brushed myself off, we were on our way, me being a little more careful. We crossed the creek at the bottom of the hill and then started right back up the other side of the hill and climbed just as high up as we had just walked down. The sun was still out and the vegetation was much different at this low of elevation. With the long grass drying out from the rain and the sun shining down, everything smelled like autumn and harvest time. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I saw a pumpkin growing nearby. 

We climbed and climbed and climbed, switchback after switchback. It was humid and sweat kept dripping off my forehead into my eyes. But I felt strong and the climb felt good. It seemed like it was going to go on forever, but then suddenly we popped out of the trees and could see some mountains and the incoming mist. 

We spent the last few hours of the day cutting across hillsides with the most views and blue skys we have seen in days.

And then right before we finished the day, the sky really cleared out and we had the prettiest end to our hike. 

Somehow it makes all that climbing worth it. 

We found a little campsite on the side of the ridge that even has some tree cover should it decide to rain. We have a view. We have bushes of the biggest huckleberries surrounding us. And there’s even a pit toilet nearby. Life is good.

We made dinner and tried to fill our tummies up with snacks and talked about all the hot food we’re craving and then crawled in the tent since the air is already getting wet. I think it’s going to be a cold night. 

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