Date: September 8th, 2016
Distance hiked: 22 km // 13.75 mi (Silver Lake campsite H38 to eastern trailhead)
Steps taken: 40,317
Time on the trail: ~8.25 hours
Calories burned: 3,279
Wildlife spotted: 1 loon + the usual little creatures
The rain came last night. I lay awake for a long time listening to the wind, and rain finally started lightly falling around 11pm, and kept up for the rest of the night. I drifted in and out of sleep throughout the night as I listened to it fall. I awoke to my alarm (for the first time ever on a hiking trip), and found that everything inside the tent was still gloriously dry (score one for the tarp tent, zero for the elements!). “Good job, tent,” I thought. I packed up as much of my stuff as possible while remaining in the dry safety of the tent, but when I emerged I discovered the rain had actually stopped. I had planned to skip cooking breakfast if it was raining in the morning, and do it later during my morning break, but since there was no rain falling, I decided I could have breakfast at camp. However, as soon as I sat down in my rain gear to start cooking my oatmeal, the rain returned with a vengeance. Well, there goes breakfast. I ate a bar and a cheese string, packed up the last of my things, and was on the trail just after 7:30.
Not many photos from today, as my phone mostly stayed tucked under the protective barrier of my rain pants. Also, you can only take so many photos of fog.
Today was another hard day of hiking. I felt like I was walking along a roller coaster for most of the morning, as the trail continuously climbed up onto ridges, and then plunged back down into the forest. Every time the trail entered the forest, I would get excited for some flat forest trail cruising, only to see another steep rise approaching through the trees. The first couple of times, I thought to myself ‘well, the trail must stay in the forest for a while, I mean there’s no way I’m gonna have to climb that!’, only to see a trail marker pointing straight up some insanely steep slope. While walking on the first rocky ridge of the day, I confirmed a glorious fact about quartzite: it doesn’t get slippery when wet. Thank the geology gods for that, or I think I would still be stuck in the woods, down at the bottom of some slippery rocky slope. I stopped for a quick snack break at the campsite on Heaven Lake, where the map indicated there should be a view point, but all I could see around me was white fog. Yup, no views today. Everything was totally fogged in.