I was up dim and early this morning, with enough time to feet and sigh over my budget, before devouring a delicious breakfast burrito and chocolate chip muffin. And COFFEE! Then some reorganizing, and somehow managing to get the now bulging food bag into the backpack – a big shoutout here to Rebecca Hueske for meat and then some! All in all, it was 9:30 when I started hiking.
The first 3 miles were an absolute joy. A pleasant walk in the woods, gradually wending uphill. In my usual over-optimism, I thought I was going faster than I actually was, but that’s happened before.
Mt. Hayes was pretty much all pleasant stroll up; Cascade Mt. was all rock scramble. Now that I think of it, the 12 mile stretch I did today had multiple personality disorder. Or did not know what it wanted to be, so tried to be everything. There were thick, sullen, muddy patches; there were boards laid out over liquid mud; there were serious rock scrambles; there was strolls in the woods; there were whalebacks of solid granite.
There was also a lot of mica in the stone. I caught myself singing something about following the silver rock road. Of course, no idea where that came from. Really.
And, at the end, as if to give me a shot of adrenaline to finish it off, someone up there threw an angry beaver into the mix. I was heading downhill to Gentian Pond, which was created because of a beaver dam, and sure enough, beaver in the path. I stopped short, we stared at each other for a second, then it indicated It’s displeasure with me by hissing, and making to jump at me. I knew I should have gotten a haircut. It had to be the untidy hair. I beat as hasty a retreat as I could stumble back up the path, and watched. A few minutes later, having shown me my place, the beaver went on it’s way, and I was able to continue. The other hikers at the shelter when I arrived reported similar encounters of the beaver kind. It was surreal.
Settled in for the night now, and looking forward to tomorrow. And the next day. More on that tomorrow!
I hike on!