Day 12: (6.8 miles)
6/28/20: 1739.2 – 1746
So, we awoke to everything damp. Mild condensation inside, and a completely saturated rain fly. The skies were completely grey with no sign of brightening. We had a decision to make. Should we stay or should we go. At the very least we had to shake the moisture from our rain fly before it started to rain, inside. It was cool and crisp out. The meadow grass we had parked ourselves on was wet and the temperature was close to 40°. The rain had stopped, which allowed us to remove and shake our fly… somewhat “drier”. We spread out our rain jackets for some airflow and to dry them off as best we could. My jacket, a Columbia OutDry is full PVC and made to keep you fully dry. Paul’s on the other hand is not fully PVC, but is an REI rain jacket that generally does the job. His jacket was wetted out through and through. There was no way we were going to get going before his jacket was at least 90% dry…inside and out. Coffee, and a check of our weather app became the remedy.
We had three options.
- Stay put and ride out the weather till it breaks.
- Pack up and start moving, and spread our stuff out to dry when the sun breaks.
- Pack up and walk a mile or so back to the campground and “yogi” a ride to Lander or Pinedale and regroup.
We chose to ride it out and see if the weather broke. It wasn’t until 1230 that our gear was dry enough to set out. We knew that the next day was a greater chance of “heavy rain” as opposed to the “moderate” rain we have been experiencing. And because we we’re headed over 10,000 feet, we needed to have gear that was dry, to ensure we could stay as warm as possible.
Up we climbed for the rest of the day. Some steep, some slow stair stepping over the next 6.8 miles. Soft tread. Rocky tread. Mushy muddy tread. It ran the gambit. The air became thinner and thinner, which made for slow going when your legs feel like cement. It drizzled slightly, and then as we were approaching 10,000 feet, the drizzle turned to snow. Good thing all our gear is dry we thought.
Up and over 10,000 ft and back down toward a raging river, that is called a creek. As we descended, we played mud puddle “hopscotch”, doing our best to keep our shoes as dry as possible. I don’t know why we tried so hard, as we ended up having to cross said raging knee deep creek with our shoes on anyways. Once across, we collected our water for the evening and next morning. And then searched for a place to camp before it started to snow/rain. We found a great place under a large tree that partially covered our tent…just in case it decided to pour or snow on us. After some well deserved hot food, we hunkered down for a cold night’s sleep.
We’ll see what the morning brings. I won’t be surprised if our shoes and socks are frozen.