I woke up in the hammock provided for me by the scouts after a decent nights sleep. It could have been better if I had realized beforehand that whatever side of me was on the bottom would get cold because there was no insulation under me like there is with my sleeping pad. In hindsight, I should have put my sleeping pad in the hammock to solve the problem. All that said, I still slept relatively fine and awoke refreshed in the morning. The scouts provided us with coffee and donuts for breakfast in the morning. Good hiking fuel to be sure.
We said farewell to the scouts and got on our way. We did nearly 5 miles before I ran into a sign made of sticks in he trail that read “beer near.” I immediately got this weird image of Elmer Fudd in a slow tip-toe and then turning to the camera to say “be vewwy vewwy quiet, I’m hunting beer.” I don’t know why, that’s just my own weird brain placing imagery on the moment I suppose. Anyway, after seeing the stick note I can to a dirt road about a quarter mile later where a group of people were sitting around in a circle. I recognized Sweet Cakes, who left the scout’s camp a bit before us but he rest were all new. The bulk of the contingent was made up of a guy called Animal, who thru-hiked last year, and his 3 friends. They had brought beer, sodas, chips and salsa, PB&J, and other snacks for whatever hikers might ramble by their tent over the weekend. So Pie and I sat down and had a 10:30am beer and some chips and salsa and enjoyed the company. Not long after we got there the rest of the thru-hiker group from the scout’s camp rolled in and joined in on the fun.
After leaving our second trail magic spot of the day we climbed up the trail for a while, knocking out most of the day’s 4,000 foot climb before taking a late lunch at 2pm. From lunch we still had about 12 miles to go to reach Blue Lake, our chosen camp for the night. We still had a bit of a climb from lunch but nothing too bad and we finally arrived at camp right about 8:30pm.
We found Sweet Cakes already hanging out at the nearest campsite so we chatted with her while Pie and I ate dinner and got set up for bed. Turned out the rest of the group went down the trail to Bear Lake, 3 miles up.
All in all, we hiked 23.25 miles today with a touch over 4,000 feet in elevation gain. Not a bad day considering all the donut and beer filled speed traps! Hopefully more magic to come down the trail but I imagine the next few days will be a little more ‘business as usual.’