Day 96 - will I get to hike today? (24.2 miles)
August 13, 2021
Miles: 24.2 miles
Made sure to wake up early to get over to the ranger station so I could be first in line. I got there at 6:15am, the ranger yesterday said to be there by 6:45am as they don’t issue permits until 8am. I arrive and there were 4 other people there, 3 of them sleeping. 2 of the guys were at my campsite yesterday and were first in line. There were 2 other guys that drove in and were sleeping off to the side so technically they weren’t in line so I ended up being second.
Since I was second as those other 2 were a group I got to get my permit right at 8am as there were 2 rangers working. Based off the availability sheet I could get the sites I wanted and could hike out today. It’s funny as a different ranger told me and the other guys yesterday that we probably wouldn’t be able to hike out today and would have to spend 2 nights. The other issue is there are 2 other ranger stations that hand out permits so I just needed my permit to go through the computer system quickly.
I got my permit and the sites I wanted, for the most part. I actually going to end up finishing a day sooner as all the campsite locations were booked for the day I wanted and I think there was another site close by but I think the ranger decided I could hike 20 miles that last day which I was fine with.
I was relived that I got my permit and could hike out today and not wait around.
I then went to the store for a quick breakfast as it was kind of late and had about 25 miles to go with 2 passes to go over.
Got to hiking around 9:45am and had a nice climb up to the first pass. It wasn’t too bad and got some amazing views. However I noticed that the hazy was starting to come back.
Had a nice downhill to the valley where about the half way mark for the day I stopped for lunch next to a waterfall. I stayed for over and hour and half but had plenty of time to get to camp before dark, or so I thought.
After lunch I started the 2nd climb which was a little shorter than the first but with much more hazy. I passed several people towards the top.
Even with the hazy the view at the top was awesome. Then it was downhill to camp.
About 4.5 miles from camp I stopped to talk with a CDT guy who has been hoping around trail all spring/summer. I chatted with him for about 45 minutes. He was asking about the trail ahead and we were sharing stories from our hikes.
Since I talked with him so long it was going to be tough to make it to camp before dark as I still had to stop for dinner.
Ate dinner as fast as I could and picked up the pace to camp.
On the way I crossed 2 suspension bridges that were really shaking while walking across.
Also I got some great views of the mountains as the sun was setting.
Got to camp around 9:30pm just light enough to where I didn’t need to use my headlamp. I did start using it while setting up camp. Also I did my last bear hung of the trip as tomorrow for my last night on trail I’ll be at a large campsite that has bear boxes.
Plan to wake up early and knock out about 30 miles. Shouldn’t be too bad of a hike as I only have one pass to go over.