Day 39, 18.5 miles, Riggs spring
I try to get going early but it’s pretty cold out so getting out of the sleeping bag is challenging. I’m finally on the trail at 7:30 but I’m tired. I think the lack of sleep in Tropic has caught up to me. My pack also feels heavy and there is quite a bit of climbing. Ugh.
I forget all about how heavy my pack is when I look at the sky and it’s pretty dark. It’s snowing in the distance. I layer up with my rain gear and umbrella and keep hiking. Unfortunately the trail isn’t as well kept as I had expected for a trail in a national park and it’s pretty brushy.
The shrub oak hooks onto my already torn rain pants and tears it even more. I’m out of duct tape so try some athletic tape to patch things back together but it doesn’t adhere very well. After a while I have even more tears and the pants are done for. I try to make a rain skirt out of my extra trash compacter bag but it doesn’t work as well as I thought. It keeps riding up to my knees.
Eventually the worst of the storm is over and I just wear my long johns.
As I ascend there are some snow patches on the trail. This is fun at first but as there are more and more of them my feet are getting soaked. When I join the original route I see Prana and Haiku’s footsteps which is fun. They look pretty fresh, maybe they’re not that far away?
When I have lunch I receive a text from Haiku, they are near Rainbow point. That puts them about one or two hours ahead of me. Ha! Maybe I’ll catch them soon!
I still do the extra little bit to Rainbow point more to get rid of my trash than for the view. Haha. I’ve seen so many good views already.
My feet are getting pretty cold now so I better keep moving. I go back down to the snowy trail. Haiku and Prana have made some nice tracks for me to follow. There is a lot of snow on this side and it’s pretty steep in places so having their tracks is great. I still have to be careful not to slip and the going is slow but when the trail descends and gets to the sunny side it’s smooth sailing. Finally some easy trail!
Now the chase is on to catch Haiku and Prana. I keep checking the trail for their footsteps, they’re easily spotted in sand or mud not so much in the pine forest. It’s getting pretty late and I figure I’ll go to Riggs springs and if they’re not there I’ll just try tomorrow. I don’t want to hike in the dark. To my delight I see their tent set up. Woohoo! We catch up on our various experiences so far, it’s great!
Tough day but a great ending.