The word for this day was…miserable. The rain that had been threatening for days finally got serious. Oh, did it ever.
But between the rising and the rain lay the Galehead Hut. I stopped there for some baked goodies and a bowl of soup. Both exceptionally tasty! Fit to power me up the extremely steep South Twin Mountain. 1100 feet increase in 0.8 miles; quite dramatic on the map.
Or I thought it was enough to power me up. Not ten minutes after I left the Hut, down came the rain. And at 4902, the peak of the mountain is above treeline; there is nothing to stop the wind, and rain turned to little ice pellets. I had to get off the mountain before I froze. Fortunately, the trail steeply dropped off as well, back into the trees, but the rain continued for hours. Hours. My waterproof boots were squishing water, but once in, there was no getting it out. Somehow, though I had the rain cover on the pack, the sleeping bag got wet, too. Since it is synthetic, it was annoying, but not disastrous. A down-filled bag like my summer bag would have been dank and useless for warmth until it dried.
I pushed on, cursing the trail, and the rain, and myself. I started running through a list of all the most dramatic ways I could announce that I was quitting the trail, and oddly enough, that cheered me up and kept me going. Maybe I really am a drama queen.
Onward, and onward, and onward. A nine or ten mile day ended at Zeeland Falls Hut, where I would again do work for stay. It was dry! Part of the path was crossing between the multiple waterfalls; at that point I couldn’t bear to see any more water and just pushed on to the hut.
Sleeping at Zeeland, however, was to the sound of the falls, which was very soothing. Once again, just me and one other thru-hiker. I was very grateful the day was over. My boots would not fully dry for another two days… And the long wool socks eventually registered an 11 on the smell scale. I switched to the backup pair.
I hiked on.