Friday, June 28, 2013
Another beautiful day on the CDT. We are now on Day 3 away from E. Glacier, and firmly on our way in the Bob. Soon, we'll be far enough that the shortest way out will be to go South rather than backtrack, which is exciting. The weather has been hot and dry; nearly all the snow has melted off by now, and the rivers are running glacially cold. Every ford has been numbing with chill, and I've been going barefoot to preserve my mostly dry socks and shoes.
I've switched to a double sock system, toe socks under thin non-cotton socks (currently: pastel pink and lemon yellow socks emblazoned with moose prints and moose silhouettes). This has added some life to my rapidly eroding toe socks, but has doubled my de-socking / socking time at each ford.
Also, I finally stopped fording barefoot--it is much better in my camp shoes (Vibram five fingers). No more barefoot fords in this ultra cold water. Lovely day, rolling up a ridge on nicely sculpted switchbacks, running the ridge, and then rolling down a few times.
When we stopped for lunch 8.5mi i, we were all starving. Whenever I sipped water, I could feel it hit bottom, in that completely empty stomach feeling, like throwing a bucket of water into an empty metal wash bin. CLANG.
As part of my training for this trip, I had been doing some fasting running, i.e., fasting 12 hours and the busting out a relatively brisk 4-6mi on a completely empty stomach. While I felt somewhat trained for this moment, never comfortable to be cruising on bile alone.
We had lunch at the top of the ridge, and dried our wet tents. We were joined by a pair of sobos, Little Bug and Aaron (no trail name yet). They were very cool, park service people from the Southwest. We learned from them, and from a quick moving sobo, Steve (CDT '07), that Lush, Man Party, Columbus, The Captain were a few miles back. Hope we run into them soon.
The rest of the afternoon was extraordinarily hot. We decided to attempt a bushwack around Badge Larke for fun. This was largely pointless, since it would have saved maybe a half mile, but we were up for an adventure. Somehow the Ley maps were slightly off, and we ended up on a long, steep bushwack through a densely wooded hillside. Pride and structural integrity of the our clothing mostly intact, we rejoined the CDT with great relief. To quote the sage Trailbait, "don't do it! It's not worth it!"
Gangles and I rolled up to Badger Pass. The trail was oddly undulating, with deep grooves in a long sine curve. Must be some side effect of the tremendous snow melt which must come through. We traipsed down the cracking, sinuous sun-baked trail, Gangles long legs reaching gracefully to the highest amplitude of each curve.
Being cursed with an Asian's inseam, I had to bound from local max to local max, and so spent another fairy like day leaping across the trail.
A few miles past Badger Pass, we stopped in this lovely meadow to camp. Though we are enjoying the flowers now, we will all be soaked with condensation in the morning. Carpe Diem.
Also, think we made an important discovery--an alternate (the purple, not the red on the J. Ley maps) to Benchmark which may shave some miles. This means our rations have been upgraded from bare bones to meager, and possibly to filling. (<--this is an Oregon Trail reference, for anyone else who went to elementary school in the U.S. and did a pioneers unit in history class)
Mileage: 15mi from 1 mi past the bear sighting to ~1.5mi past Badger Pass