Remember that shirt I was super stoked on? The one I thought would be a lot tougher and last a lot longer? Yeah, big holes. Didn't make it 5 miles.
The top of Crocker Mountain was unfortunately just as dissappointing. It was the first mountain we had climbed with an altitude over 4000 feet that didn't have a view. Wasn't above treeline. We decided to push down to our next stream fording and camp by the bank. It started to rain that day. We climbed up and down super slippery rocks and slogged through some more mud. Kind of a bummer.
That next day we climbed again in the wet and the cold, trying to get past that next lean-to. The hiking that morning was pretty incredible though, it wasn't raining and we were dipping in and out of the clouds along a ridge, so most of the walk was through the misty forest. Definitely a neat experience.
Along the trail, we then ran into a mouse! Poor little guy was curled up into a ball sitting on a rock on the trail shivering. He was so helpless, doing anything he could do get some sunshine or warmth, he didn't even move when we walked up to him. As he was sitting there I realized I was confroted by my first hiker philosophy/karma crossroads. Should I just leave the little guy to fend for himself and live by the hiker code of 'don't feed the animals'? Or should I give him what help I can and take this as an opportunity to earn some good mouse-karma? I chose the latter and gave him two pieces of dehydrated strawberry and a few almonds, hoping that the sugars in the strawberry would help to warm him and the almonds would keep him going until he could get more food. I sure hope he's alright.
|2,054 miles long!? That would've been nice. It's 2,186 now!|
Things really started to pick up then, as we arrived at the next lean-to we completed a quest that we were set upon many miles ago: The Quest To Find Rayo! This particular lean-to (wish I could remember the name) was off the trail on a blue blazed route. We got there and met two French-Canadian section hikers and two other SoBo's called Poncho and Pepper. It's always nice on the trail to have a) company and b) a roof over your head in the rain, so we decided to stop short and stay there, rather than press on a have to set up our tent in the wetness. It turned out to be perfect, because in comes a northbounder stopping for lunch.
|From Left: Left Hand, Rayo, and Aves ;)|
|Jess descending Saddleback Mountain|
|To be fair, we did send two of these boxes to ourselves from earlier on the trail. Still an impressive haul! OH and my newest shirt!|