Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Start: old gravel road
End: site by Fischer Lake
Elevation gain/loss: 6115/4580
I was up at 5:45 and on trail by 6:45, since I had to try and dry out my tent a little. As I packed up my tent in the damp, but not raining, morning air, I saw a hummingbird first thing, then saw an elk a little later. I met Walker, Sarah, and Rooster at my campsite in the morning. They’re all sobo and we ended up overlapping for the first 10 miles of the day.
As I hiked, I met U-turn, who was eating breakfast in her tent. We chatted for a few minutes and then I kept going. Not long after, I was delighted to bump into The Giver, a queer Black woman I first met back in SoCal in April. We had wonderful conversations, supporting each other in the bigotry we’ve faced on trail, having a few peaceful moments to be seen.
Perhaps an hour later, I bumped into Kansas Express, one of the folks working on a Calendar Year Triple Crown. We had good chats and then hiked our separate ways. During the day, I also met Bondi and Boondoggle, both NOBO thru-hikers.
It rained off and on all day, which made it really hard mentally and physically. I developed some underarm chafing from my wet shirt rubbing on my wet pack. I spent a large portion of the day walking through thick clouds that completely socked in the mountains so I had very restricted views.
I arrived at a nice solo campsite at 7:15pm and managed to make myself stop for the night. While I didn’t do huge miles today, they felt painful. The trail was very challenging – either climbing over endless blowdowns or walking across loose fist-sized rocks in the mist, all made worse by my damp bedraggled state. Between the trail and the bad weather, it was a very tough day.