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Rose: maybe the nap? Not much honestly Thorn: the monotony of the forest Bud: hiking up into the Goat Rocks should provide some views
Mt Adam’s glaciers glowed pink this morning in the dawn light. It wasn’t quite as majestic as I would have liked, but it’s not more than can be expected while camping on the northwestern side of a mountain. I sat drinking tea out of my new mug (since it’s getting colder and I’m tired, I’ve been enjoying coffee or tea in the morning, so I finally ordered a mug. I can drink a hot drink and eat food at the same time!) and enjoying the gentle alpine dawn.
Beans, on the other hand, was not in a good mood. Around 3 am we had just a little bit of rain. At 4 am, there was some predawn wind. Unfortunately, Beans’ tent stakes were torn from the soft sand in the wind and her tent collapsed on her. She painted quite the picture of hobbling around on swollen feet muttering curses while resetting her tent in the dark. And as these things go, the rest of the morning had small mishaps that contributed to her tired, frustrated state: she couldn’t find her toothbrush, she dropped her water bladder in the sand and it got dirty and got sand in her morning tea, the mosquitos came out much thicker in the morning than last night, etc. I tried to cheer her up and not bring down my good mood. It did a little. Although my view of the mountain was broken by the extreme angle and spindly trees, I would have loved a quiet morning of reflection and admiration while drinking my tea. I tried playing some music to pick her up, but alas! it’s my “pick me up” playlist and not hers. We didn’t leave camp until 8:30 because of the bad mood delay.
After fifteen minutes, any and all views completely disappeared for the rest of the day, which made for an incredibly boring day. Our view for eight hours was a ten foot wide corridor bordered by dense firs and underbrush, the one foot wide trail in the middle, and huckleberry bushes filling the space between the trail and the bordering forest. All day. We never saw more than 50 yards on either side except when we crossed a gravel road. The huckleberries provided some entertainment as some patches still held large berries that we nibbled on through out the day, but only so much time can be spent eating huckleberries.
By lunch, we were both incredibly tired, whether from the ill fated morning, the boring walk, or hypoglycemia, who knows. We didn’t even wait for a good lunch spot. We nestled between some firs on the side of the corridor and took a long nap. A few hikers passed us while we were napping. Afterward, we decided that naps before eating lunch are never a good idea; they always go over-long. Our nap/lunch break ended up being quite long as we were both reluctant to start down the green tunnel again.
Around four we finally got some relief from the monotony when the trees spaced out some more and we had views of three ponds. The mental relief that the labyrinth openned up 50 yards to show us some scummy ponds should provide some insight into how bored we were. Not even our audiobooks or podcasts alleviated the monotony. The faces of the half dozen hikers we saw during the day reflected our own boredom.
At one point, I took a break on a log. Beans and I chatted about the prospect of Gibb rejoining us. It’s been occupying our minds quite a lot: where is Gibb right now? Will he catch up today? Maybe we should hike slower or less so that he will catch up. We should stop X habit so he doesn’t get weirded out. We’ve gotten too used to each other. Gibb will get us out of camp in the morning. Etc. We yelled into the forest, “Gibbbbbb!!!! Gibbbbb!!!” Because when do you get to yell full volume into the void? Might as well do it in the middle of boring, desolate forest.
We called it a day and camped in the forest next to some other hikers. The mosquitos, although not horrendous, were enough that we cooked in our tents and silently prepared for sleep. The other campers were welcoming. I have gotten bolder at asking to stay.