Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 3, Lather Rinse Repeat

The beauty of an out and back is that now that I'm done with the first half there is really zero guesswork left. No worrying about intersections or water just enjoying the trail. A great sunrise and away we went.

Its hard to see but that little line is the trail heading
down to the Middle Fork of Smiths Creek

early morning and the dog was already hiding in
bushes at every break...

looking down at Overland lake
Going up the pass wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be at all. The folks I had seen at the top the day before had looked completely beat down. Plus it had felt like a pretty steep descent for me so I was happily surprised when we made it to the top without too much grief.

apparently Overland Lake is the place to be as a horse

naptime and laundry, perfect
Ah cleanliness in the outdoors, what a different thing you are. With 3 hours of break time how could I not attempt to get a little cleaner? So the first round of swimming was fully clothed in an attempt to make my clothes slightly less rank and then it was just swimming for swimming's sake. My dog just looked at me and slept under a bush, hmm that means she's really tired. By the way this lake is even more fantastic on day 3 when you are hot and there is a noticeable lack of screaming obnoxiousness.

I made the dog wear her booties because I was getting worried about her feet. She hated me passionately for this decision despite all the times I made her wear them back at home. Trust me its not just anthropomorphising, that dog was unhappy with the world.

Look I can take pictures of things besides the scenery,
evening snacktime!
I met another hiker along this section, yet another guy from Reno who I scared so badly he screamed. I swear I am not a quiet hiker but I managed to startle at least 5 different people on this hike. We flip flopped the rest of the afternoon. It reminded me of the PCT, you make weird small talk about the trail for ages and then finally actually introduce yourself after hours of this nonsense. Very entertaining.

More ominous clouds rolling in
Up on top above long canyon I thought about stopping and camping early. It looked like rain and I had found a nice sheltered spot but it was still early and after over an hour break I decided to keep going. 

I wanted a spot to camp where I could see sunrise and sunset, I finally found it on the top of a ridge just a mile or so before Wines Peak (guess I know my midpoint). Sam (the other hiker I had met that afternoon) decided to stop in the same place as he was pretty tired and it was such a great view. Plus there were actual flat spots, a bit of a rarity on this section. A bit of small talk and then off to bed. We were all tired, even Sitka had curled up in a little ball and not moved for at least an hour. Maybe rocks are more comfortable if your a dog...

the view from my campsite

Cactus at 10400 ft! guess its still the desert
hiker trash feet, tape fixes everything

ever faithful lookout

At nine I settled down into my sleeping bag, finished my last snack and right as I opened my book felt a raindrop on my face, well crap. I was impressed with my speedy tent setup, although it was more slanted than I realized once I threw myself inside. Of course twenty minutes later the rain stopped. I decided to stay in the tent in case a few more showers rolled in overnight. It was not a comfy night. The wind would catch my tent and flap incredibly loudly and then a few hours into the night I had to get out and fix the tent. Honestly being half asleep I can't even remember why, I think it was me accidentally knocking a stake loose as I moved but whatever the case I fixed it badly so had to basically redo it twice within 5 minutes. Silly mistakes when you are sleepy that had me cursing and debating just letting the darn thing sit in a heap while I slept in the open, but the dog had joined me by then and with the chilly night and potential for more rain I sucked it up and slept sideways on rocks so my dog could be warm.  

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