Our first full day of hiking led to many useful discoveries.
1. How to use our water pump
In the throes of planning, we somehow neglected to actually practice and/or test our water pump–an MSR MiniWorks. Thanks to Sunday’s deluge, all of the streams along the trail were flowing abundantly and we had many opportunities to learn along the way. The MiniWorks is wonderfully simple and spring water treated without chemicals is mighty fine.
2. The aftermath in a frozen cloud zone
As the sun warmed the eastern faces of the mountains that had recently been covered with frost, enormous frozen chunks began plummeting to earth and collecting on the trail. (Travis says they were more like “delicate flakes”…of DOOM!!!) In these pictures they look rather like fluffy down, although albino woodchips is a good approximation.
After setting off at 8am with a quick pace and lots of enthusiasm, we found ourselves having hiked over 12 miles by 2pm. Surely this was too early to camp, so we pressed on for what turned in to another 8 miles for lack of an appropriate campsite… We’re finding ourselves in fantastic shape for hiking fast, but 20 miles was pushing it for day 2. We ended the day with a variety of aches and pains, most of which disappeared by morning.
4. The right campsite makes it all worthwhile
PS–the title of this post stems from a collection of bizarre, hiking-induced conversations. Stay tuned for a photo of a rodeo-dendron and throw an open package of fig newtons in your backpack for a taste of disfigured newtons…