Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 142-Another Dreary Day

From Urich Cabin at mile 2355 to mile 2378

Inside the cabin with nearly a dozen other hikers provided a better sleep than expected.  At one point I woke up in the middle of the night and heard rain beating against the roof and I felt such joy at being inside under a real roof.

By morning it had stopped raining. Wettness was coming off the trees and clouds were still draping the valley and it was cold. The thermometer mounted on the outside of the cabin read 40 degrees when Portrait and I left at eight o'clock.  It was certainly a mitten wearing kind of morning.

Ready to hike
Everything was wet. The trail was made up of long skinny puddles. The brush lining the trail was soaked and got my shoes and pant legs damp. Whenever the wind blew it made the trees rain. There was some blue sky though. At points in the morning it seemed like the storm might clear out, but then it changed its mind.

Shortly after noon we had crested our biggest climb of the day and meet a southbound section hiker. He told us that down at one of the passes, just six miles away, was trail magic. He said there were chili dogs, hot drinks, sodas.  Portrait and I hadn't had lunch yet, and while I was very hungry the food in my bag lost all of my interest.
A few miles later we did stop for a quick snack lunch on a damp log-I put down my Tyvek to sit on. It was hard to sit long, and not just because I wanted trail magic, but because it was too cold to stay still. I ate just enough to get me the three miles of downhill left before the pass.

"Not Phil's Dad" was our host for the magic. He had two canopy tents set up. One was a kitchen where he made chili dogs and kept the kettle on. The other had folding chairs, a coffee table piled with fruit, chips, and other snacks.

As soon as we arrived two hot dogs went on the grill. The others from the cabin were already there and thinking about moving on. They still wanted to hike eight miles that day. I had chips and a soda while waiting for my hot dogs and hot chocolate. The hot food and drink was perfect. Everybody kept remarking on Not Phil's Dad's wonderful timing with his magic.

Not Phil's Dad making some magic
It was hard to leave those chairs and that kettle after an hour. Two more hikers showed from the cabin while we were getting ready to leave. It was just after four and we still wanted to do six miles so it was time to go. We thanked Not Phil's Dad who took our picture and then we started climbing up.

It felt a little warmer than it had in the morning, but just like in the morning we saw a few flurries of snow as we hiked in the afternoon. One very dark gray cloud seemed to have parked itself over us.

By 6:30 it was as dark as twilight. The mist and wettness coming off the trees was joined by a light rain. It would rain a minute than stop then start again. Portrait put on his new poncho and I put my pack cover on my pack. We agreed to take the next stop if it really started to rain.

We didn't give the rain a chance to start really raining. We saw a campsite and decided to take it. We were close enough to our mileage goal and neither of us wanted to be rained on when it was 40-something degrees out. It drizzled a little while we set up camp. We both eat a snack supper-I felt way too lazy to cook and I didn't want to be rained on while making and eating dinner. Sometime around 8:30 it started to really rain, but then stopped again-that seems like the pattern for the night.

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