Harts Pass 2630 to Woody Pass 2649
It’s before dawn and Meander is working to set up his little wood fired stove. Despite the cold we emerge. Frozen hands make the packing up slow. After at least a 3 lb. crap, I finally join the group at the wood stove where Meander asks “Have you had your sticky bun?”
Dang, this trail magic just doesn’t stop. The group, looking out for my best interests, knows I haven’t waited the required hour after my synthroid pill. But I say fuck it and eat my sticky bun immediately. Remember, Life is short.
We relish the climb out from Harts Pass so that we can warm up. A perfect dusting of snow glitters along the trail. Now we’re talking, I can handle this. Commence cruising. And then I cross paths with my pals Dutchess and Artic Fox. I met them in Etna and they are the dearest of soles. A big congrats to them and crew for reaching the border!
Over 4500 ft. of climbing today which seems a challenge. Dragging ass. It couldn’t be that I’m hung over or dehydrated. Temperature extremes. Sweaty climbs, freezing breaks. We meet the hiker that took our romance book, who has already reached the monument and is backtracking to Harts Pass. He hands it over, claiming that it was the worst book he’d ever read. And yet somehow he managed to read the whole thing. I wonder if deep down he was glad to have something to read. The washouts have been transformed into awesome trail. Otherwise, you risk skidding miles downslope to your death. Backtrack for water. Clasts in rocks, pikas calling, more climbing. I finally arrive at our destination and there is a tiny little tent spot for me. But that means that Tree Killer is cowboy camping. 25 degrees. Yep, he’s the shit and lives big. We huddle in our tents where it’s 28 degrees and I imagine that I can hear the frost heave. Or maybe it’s just my neighbors crunching their food. We try to get Tree Killer to read to us but he’s already lightly snoring. Sunshine reads us a chapter from THE book with all the appropriate voices. We laugh. Yep, it’s bad.