I got a good start at 6:15 but stopped about 7:30 because it started raining. Yes, actual rain. When I woke up, there was thick cloud cover overhead. From about 3 onward, the sky to the north was tick with dark clouds and calling rain. Since I am hiking North, it only makes sense that the rain would eventually get to me.
I really liked the campsite I had last night. I slept well and there was no wind to speak of. I was mainly glad to be away from the mosquitoes. I still had more climbing to do in the morning, but it was not steep. The day looked to be gradual ups and downs. But I did not anticipate it being so exposed and so rocky. I passed four more hikers waking up and two of them passed me late in the morning but no one from yesterday ever caught up unless they passed me late after I had already made camp.
I did pass alot of day hikers today. I passed two trailheads and am just a few miles from a third right now. Many of them had dogs, too. Being the weekend, I will probably see more tomorrow and Sunday.
I wore the shorts today and it was hot enough for them, but good breezes kept me cool. The exposed areas did give me a slight sunburn on my left knee, though. It is supposed to rain tonight and possibly tomorrow, so I will wear the long pants tomorrow.
I hit two large lakes with camping spots right about 7:15 and some weekenders were camped there and had a dog and left their dog food outside their tent. I didn’t feel comfortable camping with them. There was another parking area three miles further that had flat ground before and after it and I thought that would make a good camping area. I would still get there well before dark. After about one mile, it started to sprinkle very lightly and I found some good flat ground with tree cover from the wind. I decided that was about as perfect a spot as I was going to find tonight, so I went ahead and stopped there.
I got everything set up just before it started to rain lightly. I snuck into the tent and left the stove outside to cook from inside the tent. It rained just enough to keep me pinned inside, but not enough to actually get anything wet. I ate in the tent and then drank my last Mango IPA beer that I had chilled in the creek. It was delicious. It’s also nice to get rid of something heavy. I need to try to do some big miles tomorrow so I can get to Seiad Valley early if possible, because I am due to arrive in Ashland on Saturday and have three packages waiting at the post office. I don’t want to have to wait until Monday to pick them up.