Mile 2159.3-2190.5 (31.2)
Fat raindrops fell on my face around midnight. I was up immediately to set up my tent. A big cloud had rolled in and engulfed me, misting everything and moving quickly toward rain. My sleeping bag was already damp, but I managed to keep it from getting soaked. For the rest of the night, my sleep was punctuated by the drumming of rain on my tent.
I woke at 5:30 but went back to sleep when I heard rain. I slept another hour before moving toward permanent wakefulness. I started hiking pretty late. The wet cloud disappeared as I descended. Grey skies and dry ground down in the valley.
The forest was so green and beautiful. Almost like I could hear things growing. I listened to a great radiolab podcast yesterday about networks of fungi under the forest floor that facilitate the sharing of food and resources. I thought about this relationship as I walked, imagining the vast network of roots and fungi beneath my feet. The trail was soft and loamy. Pines and ferns surrounded me. It was very quiet.
I passed Rock Creek and Snag Creek and dirt roads and smaller streams. I climbed 1500 feet to another ridge and followed it for two miles before descending back all the way down. When I look at an elevation profile, the climbs and descents seem arbitrary, so I have to picture my line of travel in the context of the landscape. Like the children’s game: can’t go under it, can’t go around it, gotta go over it!
It rained on me briefly on the ridge, bur by the afternoon I saw short glimpses of blue sky. Not quite enough to dry my tent and sleeping bag, but enough to feel good. There was a long flat section down at 1000ft elevation and I cruised along. When I hit the last long climb of the day, I tackled it steadily, stretching my legs and pumping my trekking poles.
I followed a ridge and nearly stopped early at a lovely campsite on an exposed ledge. It was windy but had sweeping views to the south. I paused for a moment, then continued on. I felt good, the temperature was cool, and it would be nice to get another three miles in. I hiked for an hour then set up camp at a site with a few tents already sprinkles about. Talked with So Far and So Good for a while, then bed.