Tuesday, August 21, 2018 — CW Miles 207.0–219.1 (12.1 miles for the day)
When our alarm goes off we wake to the sound of rain on the tent. There’s no point facing the world just yet, so we hang out for an hour or two. We only need to make 12 miles today, which will set us up for the subsequent 16 miles at high elevation.
The rain lets up and we leave by 8. The trail is largely in the forest, which shelters us from the heat (in the rare moments when it’s sunny) and the rain.
It rains off and on all day. Sometimes it’s bad enough that we take cover under rain gear and wait it out, and sometimes it’s light enough that we keep hiking through it.
By early afternoon we’re beginning our last climb of the day up to Cottonwood Pass. The rain is so consistently falling down on us that it slows our progress.
We reach the top, pause for a photo, and then rush to set up our tent by a nearby mountain lake. We just finish putting in the last stake when the heavens overflow and the true downpour begins. Feeling thankful we made it just in time.
We eat dinner in our tent and pray for the rain to pass, but it doesn’t. The storm gets worse and the winds pick up. The temperature is dropping so we double up our sleeping bags and cuddle to stay warm. We lay like this and pretends it’s bedtime, even though it’s only 7:30. The storm is quite frankly terrifying. In a moment like this we’re trying to remember why we thought thru-hiking is a good idea. If nothing else, God is using these conditions to make us quite thankful for the things we already have in life.
Isaac says: Today sucked. There’s no other way to say it. Imagine trying to go to sleep and the wind and rain is about to tear the roof off of your house. That’s what it was like as were trying to rest from a simply dreadful day. But then having a life partner like Hannah made a terrible day tolerable as we just laughed about the experience the next day. She even offered to carry the tent for me over one of the most difficult passes we had done to that point! Everyone needs a hiking buddy. If you don’t have one, GET ONE!