Day 34 (May 11): Mile 411.8 – 430.4

Cold Soaking

Beginning Elevation = 6,700
Low/Peak Elevations = 4,900/6,750
Ending Elevation = 5,900
Weather: cold and rainy morning, then mostly cloudy day with few rain showers, some thunder

It rained pretty hard at different points last night. My tent held up nicely and my sleeping bag worked wonders at keeping me warm. I woke up to still more rain pelting my tent. Thus, I opted to do the later morning start again and cooked my oatmeal and coffee from my sleeping bag.

Afterwards, I I heard a break in the rain and saw sunshine basking down upon me! I made my break for it, packed up and got going. My rain fly was still soaked so I just shoved it in my mesh pocket on the outside of my pack. I began walking at 8:00.

Soon, the rain came out again. Enough for me to get my rain jacket and pack cover on. It didn’t last too long though luckily and at my second breakfast stop I was able to set my fly out to dry. It helped, but still pretty wet.

The morning seemed to pass pretty quickly. Here are some of the views from that section.

Around 11:30, I made it to a parking area that had an outhouse, spigot with water, and a police table. The Denmark friends, Hannibal (Lamb Chop – Silence of the Lambs, see what they did there) and Adam, were there, a little disappointed since they had hoped to order pizza but didn’t have service. Soon, a group of five showed up who did order pizza (other hikers report when things like this are possible using the mapping app we all use).

By the time I got to eating my lunch, I wished I had ordered pizza too. My stove had been seeming to be getting less and less “powerful” over the past couple days, and finally seemed to give out entirely. I was planning on trying my first cous cous, and did still go for it, but had to do so just by using cold water…”cold soaking”. Some folks go the entire trail stoveless to save on weight. I think they’re silly, but as the ancient Incan’s used to say, “hike your own hike.” My cous cous was not horrible, but not great by any means.

My stove breaking put me in a bad mood and I remained in a funk the rest of the day. Really this week, coming out of Wrightwood, I seemed to be a bit off.

Yesterday, I started Season 3 of the Serial podcast. The narrator/reporter lady, Sarah Koenig, is super talented and this season is about the justice system, specifically looking at Cleveland, Ohio. I listened to a few Serial podcast episodes and music most of the afternoon, until I stopped at 5:15ish at the Messenger Flats Campground. I didn’t take many pictures today, but here are some of the afternoon hike. It really was beautiful scenery today.

Although I was offered at both lunch and dinner to borrow a stove (from Yardsale and Sophie), I had just added my cold water to my meals prior to their offer. Dinner consisted of a Backpacker Pantry Fettucine Alfredo with Chicken (cold). I let it soak for a half hour and ate all my remaining snacks while waiting!

Both the Denmarkians as well as Yardsale and Sophie were camped nearby, but I wasn’t feeling very social this evening so went to the tent early.

As I write there is some thunder booming!

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