It rained steadily from 9 pm until 3 am keeping me awake for long periods of the night. Even though my shelter shed the rain perfectly, so much condensation built up inside it dripped cold water on my face all night and my down quilt got damp. I stayed very warm however. After 3 am, I slept great until I woke up as it got light out around 5 am. My shelter was saturated inside and out and my quilt was damp. The morning sky was half blue, half clouds. I was hopeful for a sunny day. Jess was still sleeping and I didn’t want to wake her so I trekked on.
The morning walk was rather pretty as the ground was still saturated even though clearly drought adapted plants grew everywhere. Light beams from the sun made cool patches of lit up fog. The abnormally wet weather led to interesting mushrooms popping up in the forest. I passed probably a dozen tents set up just past where we slept. Around noon I made it to a creek where many other hikers were filling up on water and eating lunch. As I joined them the sun came out for almost an hour, just long enough to dry all my gear out! Just after my lunch break a storm brewed and I got to use my umbrella for the first time! It worked fantastic. It kept my body completely dry from the waist up. It also covered the top part of my backpack. The storm only lasted about 20 minutes and then it was sunny. I can get used to that!
The trail then climbed gradually up a mountain. Along the way I stopped again for a snack near a creek with some other hikers. Just after I arrived another storm rolled in and it began pouring down rain. Luckily I was sitting beneath a big pine tree that had a dry spot underneath it and I avoided getting wet at all even without the umbrella. I waited out this storm which also lasted about 20 minutes and then it was sunny again. The rest of the climb to the top of the mountain was steep and soggy. Cool plants grew up there. I saw bunchberry, twinflower and my first Calypso orchids! Unfortunately they were past bloom. I reached the top of the climb at 10,600 feet without too much trouble. I definitely noticed it was harder to catch my breath on the way up but other than that no problems. Some miles after that the trail opened up into a beautiful meadow with all kinds of neat wildflowers. I stopped to get some more water and have another snack when the third storm came in. This one only lasted about 15 minutes and then it got sunny again. The rest of the walk was in a high altitude meadow and was easy hiking. I met a thru hiker named Cody who was looking for some water and then the two of us started walking together. He was going to stay at a campsite noted in our guthook app.
We decided to camp there together. Cody makes his own ultralight gear and has a cool shelter he stitched himself as well as a small backpack. We set up came and ate lots of food while chatting about hiking. There’s some mosquitos here but not bad enough to wear deet. Were camped at 11,000 feet so it may get chilly tonight! As I climbed into my shelter it has begun to rain again… Looks like I’m in for another damp night.