Day 64: mile 1021.8 – 1043.2

Elevation gain: 4,251 ft

Elevation loss: 4,744 ft

It was eerily quiet today…didn’t see ONE other person on the trail in over 21 miles, we saw no wildlife, and even the birds were more quiet than usual. Super strange!

Our morning started with us having to say goodbye to Amy, Emily and Michelle after we shared some morning coffee together. It was really so great to have them with us for a day, and we appreciated Amy’s help with shuttling, cookie making, and taking our bear cans more than she will ever know! We started hiking at 7:15 and there was literally nothing amazing to report through the first 14 miles when we stopped for lunch at 1:15. There are always some beautiful pictures, but today they weren’t as plentiful since we were in the forest much of the day. There were some beautiful little waterfalls and Link took full advantage with the warm temps!

Right before lunch we had passed through a broken gate which is supposed to contain live stock, but we have never seen any. We did, however, see lots of cow patties which were attracting tons of flies. When we stopped for lunch by a stream, the only shady spot was on a log under a tree, and surrounded by these cow patties…lovely. But it was pretty warm today, so sitting in the sun elsewhere was not an option. It’s ok, though…better than mosquitoes! We were there an hour, trying to gear up for the last 7 miles of the day which included a couple more climbs. Within 3 mins of leaving lunch, I was taking my last step off a patch of snow that was more slippery than I anticipated and slipped onto my booty. This would’ve been no big deal if I landed in the snow, but instead I landed in the mud puddle that was left by the melting snow onto the dirt…ugh! I was completely fine and it’s a good thing these pants are extremely durable and can take a beating!

The views on the final approach to the tent site were phenomenal!

We made it to the tent site we were aiming for at just 5:15 (we had heard there was some possible cell service here which was a bonus). But the spot was really small and there was no AT&T service so we walked on another 1/2 mile or so and found a good spot with a beautiful view. We also found out that we DID have service, then didn’t, then did again. We even tried walking down the trail a little after dinner to see if we could find a better signal, but it was never good enough to upload any pix.

We ate dinner at this spot…you can see our tent just a little bit away.

Since there isn’t much to report about the day, I thought I would chat a little bit about how I have found myself evolving as a backpacker. The things I care about at home just don’t seem to be as big of a deal out here. Like these finger nails…

This is a daily occurrence even after I scrub them in a stream. These are the fingers that put my contacts in my eyes as well (probably not ideal 😳) And speaking of contacts…I can now put them in and take them out without using a mirror. It was a little tricky at first, but I have officially figured it out which is handy! I also found that putting this shirt on when it looks like this is just the way it is:

There is no time to wash and have our clothes dry in time to wear them the next day so I have to just not think about it. Another thing that I can do now is drink from the Gatorade bottle after rinsing it out when I have had a breakfast shake. In the past this has completely grossed me out…all the shake particles in the bottle, and then drinking it when rinsing it out?! Yuck! But, yes, that is now normal…can’t waste any of those calories! Lastly, bees used to be my nemesis. I love snakes, I don’t mind spiders and other insects, but for some reason bees used to make me jump. Not the cute little honey bees, but those huge black ones that seem to love to fly around me in a circle as I walk. But they are around us every day and I have learned to ignore them and they ignore me…no more panic, yay!

We were treated to another gorgeous sunset tonight, WOW! Thanks for reading and following along, guys! Double Down