The nights are coming earlier as October soon approaches. It is harder and slower to hike in the dark. We figure that in order for us to increase our mileage, we would have to hike more in the dark. That probably is not going to happen. We were in bed by 6:30 so I was glad when the watch said 5. We were on the trail a little after 6. We passed one tent and then nestled between a couple of trees was Topper. She likes to cowboy camp and usually in a spot where no one else has camped. Unused spots keep the little critters out of your food. Our first big pass of the day was Grasshopper, over a 2500 ft. climb We took our packs off at the top and had a snack. This last part of the trail is in the Pasaden Wilderness Area. Beautiful! There are still some small glaciers left on the top of the mountains. As we round the corner we can see the trail going along the ridge on both sides of the valley. Looking at the big picture, we think this is going to take forever, but then as we just start walking we look back and are amazed at how far we have come. Topper catches up with us and it is fun to catch up with her, since we last saw her. Donna hikes with her for several hours and she shares some of her experiences while in the army and about her family. She is not ready to be done with the hike and wishes she could keep going. At Hart’s Pass we meet Gertrude who had hiked from Rainy Pass. She was an older women who was carrying several bags and wearing a heavy backpack. She spoke in broken English and wanted to know if there was a bus here. We informed her that there was not, but there were a lot of day hikers in the area and if she continued down the road she would come to a parking lot. Most likely she could get a ride with one of them. We were amazed that she had gotten that far. Later we talked to Siren who had helped carry some of her gear. The data book warned us of a dry stretch so we filled up with water and then a little while later when we ran into a south bounder, we were informed that the data book was inaccurate. There were several streams running near the trail. It was becoming a long day so we decided to break up the hike a bit and have an early dinner before hiking some more. We ate one of Jeff’s meals that he had cooked for us and we had dried. We have rationed our chocolate to last and since we are most likely going to get out tomorrow, we have an extra piece to eat. We have met several hikers who are bittersweet about ending this hike. A lot of friendships have been formed over the months. We are also starting to meet hikers that have made it to the border and are hiking back to Hart’s Pass. One needs a permit and passport to hike into Canada, . Since we had already eaten dinner we hiked later in the day. This is one of the few days that we are passing hikers that have already set up camp for the night. We find a spot in a meadow and watch the moon rise before getting into the tent. This has been one of the longest mileage days of the month.
Mileage hiked 25 miles