Last night was one of the eeriest nights I’ve ever experienced. Though it started to rain at dusk, it stopped after an hour or so. I slept until I woke up at almost exactly midnight to darkness and total and absolute silence. Not an insect, a drip or breeze. There was no sign of anything being in existence beyond my shelter. I don’t think I have ever encountered absolute silence. The loudest thing I could hear was my own heartbeat and it sounded so loud that I thought it was footsteps of an animal outside my shelter. But when I held my hand over my heart, each “footstep” corresponded with beat. I began to psych myself out. I was convinced that there was something walking around out there. In reality I think it was my heart beating which made my jacket brush ever so slightly against my quilt, making a “footstep” sound in constant intervals. Anyways I ended up staying awake for 2 more hours until I drifted back to sleep.
I woke up and was ready to go at about 6 am. Just then it began to rain again 😩. Cody said he was going to stay and watch Dragon Ball Z on his phone until the rain stopped. The morning hike went by quickly and the weather began to turn for the better. The sun came out several times and was warm enough for the insects to become active. I found a cool blister beetle eating some flower petals. A small storm came through just before I reached Kenosha pass. I waited it out under a tree. Soon after, it became warm and sunny and views of the valley and distant mountains were epic. I saw a grouse from afar and approached it to see if I could get a good photo. The bird let me walk to about 5 feet from it and it just clucked like a chicken and puffed up. At one point it spread its wings and jumped at me while making a whoosh noise and startled me as it no doubt intended. The it went back to eating grass seeds and flowers.
At Kenosha pass I took everything out of my pack to dry and while doing this and eating a man came up and talked trail with me. His whole family was doing a section of the trail over the next few days. He gave me some extra food and soon after that a lady came and chatted with me as well. She ended up giving me water, food and taking my trash! What a spot for trail magic! Thank you!!! With my spirits lifted I headed out to the south. After a short climb the mountain views became astounding. I listened to my favorite songs while gazing out across plains and mountain ranges still ornamented with snow.
Hiker “yard sale” where I dry out my gear
It got cloudy and cool just before I began a large climb up to Georgia Pass. I thought I may be able to get up and over the pass today if the weather cooperated. As I filled up on water at a creek I began to feel a gloom in the forest. Cool, moist and lonely. I started the climb and my right knee began to hurt. I took some ibuprofen and kept on going up. A few miles from the top, sure enough a storm rolled in and dumped rain for 45 minutes or so, giving way to a steady, soaking rain for another 3 hours. I felt uneasy about camping alone in this gloomy forest, all my gear soaked and body chilled. I made it to a campsite area 2 miles from the top of the pass where two other hikers were already set up in their tents. I asked to join them and set up my tent swiftly. I meticulously arranged everything in my tent the way I wanted because it was only 6 pm and now I had nothing to do. I played on my phone, listened to music and then passed out around 7 pm.