Today was a brutal day covering 12.8 miles and four mountains (Moody, Old Blue, Elephant and Bemis). There was over a thousand feet of elevation gain and loss over the first mountain, and over two thousand feet of gain over the second. The climbing was also very steep over the first two mountains, putting the most difficult hiking early in the day — at least we had that going for us — before turning more gradual over the Bemis range.
To put today’s hike in perspective, we started hiking at 6:30 am and didn’t get to the next shelter until 6 pm. I drank over 120 ounces of water and didn’t go Number 1 until we got to camp. What? Too much sharing? Didn’t you know this was an all-access blog?
Mother nature also upped the ante by giving us a pretty steady rain shower for about an hour or so. Since we’re prone to making bad decisions, we didn’t put on our rain gear, figuring we’d sweat too much. In hindsight, sweat wet probably doesn’t equate rain drenched. Worse yet were the swamps that formed in our boots. As Brad put it, “I’d probably be cold right now if my boots weren’t the number one issue.”
Doesn’t this sound like fun? It still kind of is in a masochistic way.
Considering the terrain and the rain, you might be thinking that we took some spills today, and you would be right. I took the first fall early in the morning, prompting Brad to announce, “We’re tied.” It was kind of bogus considering I didn’t have my pack on and was bending over a stream to get water. If the French judge was going to count that, the Russian judge definitely had a change of heart from the point he awarded yesterday, keeping the score knotted at two. Hey, if I’m going to lose this, I’m going to lose it unfair and square.
I fell again not too long after, and Brad a little after that, and we stayed tied at three most of the day. Then as we neared the shelter, our legs mush, the floodgates opened. I did a major forward-falling yard sale on a wet rock slope. It’s always a bad sign when Brad’s reaction is to immediately ask if I’m alright, as opposed to our normal response of loudly announcing the new score. So then I got up, took another step and promptly fell again. Fortunately Brad had a spill soon after, keeping the score from getting out of hand. As it stands right now, Brad is winning 4-5. But tomorrow is a new day.