Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 37 - Hump day

Gangles left camp before I did today, and I finally caught up with her about 3mi down the trail. She was standing with bear spray clutched in both hands looking left with a thousand yard stare. Think vintage Charlie's Angels. Apparently, she had seen a misshapen black lump on the trail, which startled, then clumsily ran away, breaking sticks and trees in its wake. She thinks it was a small black bear, so bear encounter #2 on the trail. This one was shy as well, and ran away, so thanks for that.

Today was a very long day on the trail, over 27mi. When we planned this stretch, we knew we were being aggressive with the mileage, perhaps an expected consequence of planning late at night with beer. The sequence is supposed to be something like: 10, 22, 25, 27, 24, 16. The mileages are approximate, as each of the sources (Ley, Wolf, Bear Creek (Brown)) have slightly different counts. Today is the longest of the days, intentionally placed farther in when our packs are lighter, since we have less food.

It was a long 27, and we are exhausted. We are camped just shy of the Eunice Creek Trail, which leads to the only water in this section, downhill 450'. Very Fit, being the mensch that he is, graciously retrieved water for all of us. He is most definitely living up to his trail name.

The length of the day was tough on everyone, and Moosie and Bigfoot opted to stop at Goldstone Pass. Bearbait has caught up, and is down there as well. In camp with the Swiss Fits, BR and Grinder. We hope to see everyone tomorrow, or the next day in Leadore.

I tried to call the Leadore Inn today from a pass. The answering machine was great, since it is one machine for 1) Leadore Inn, 2) Lemhi Taxidermy, and 3) the couple who run both businesses. I'm looking forward to seeing the Inn. Assuming it is less Hitchcock's Psycho, and maybe more the Natural History Museum in DC with quality dioramas.

Also, it has been a dry section of trail. I bushwhacked down to a lake to pick up water. I did my best, but the lukewarm lake water was filled with tiny swimmers--maybe very small tadpoles or some kind of glacial lake shrimp. Gangles fished out all she could with our spoon, and we added an extra drop of bleach for good measure.

So relieved to have finished our hump day. 40mi more to Leadore over 2 days, which is very doable. The light at the end of the tunnel. Ok, off to study tomorrow's maps, and then bed.

Mileage: 27mi from Hamby Creek to Eunice Creek Trail

p.s., Barrel Roll and Grinder joined the Stangles' 30mi club today. Club requirements: Get lost and then found with a total mileage of 30+ mi. Bonus requirement: Find an abandoned cabin. BR and Grinder hit the bonus. Welcome to the club, boys!

p.p.s., Heard Jerry Brown was in the area today checking out new trail. Jerry Brown is the author of the Bear Creek maps, one of the 3 major data sources for the CDT. Celebrity sighting! Maybe I should tweet at TMZ to get credit for the scoop.

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