September 13 – 5 miles

It was a very windy night. The weather predicted that the high gusty winds would end by about 10pm. They didn’t. The whole night is living wind patterns. Slow, distant whispers of leaves, crescendoing to a dull roar swirling around in 3D Surround Sound, then roaring over us, blowing the tent, sometimes pushing the peak 6 inches aside as the wind waves roar by. The sounds move away and into silence. Then a new variation on the theme repeats. Over and over…

Somehow Sherman and I both slept through much of it.

This is a cold night. Near to freezing. I have on all my layers. On these nights, Sherman comes up and paws at me, asking to curl up with me under the quilt. So sweet. And so practical. Adding our body heat together benefits us both.

We awake in the morning about 7. It’s still very cold and windy. We doze for anther 90 minutes. Then I start to plan the morning.

I need to get the food that’s tied up away from bears.

Organize what’s in the tent. Offer Sherman food, which he eats.

It’s now 9:30. We go out to organize what’s stored in the pack overnight. I see a group of hikers off to the left about 100 feet. We go say hi. One is thru-hiking the TRT in the other direction. Two are friends who have hiked with him for a couple days. They’re leaving the trail today.

The packup is slow. We’re not done until about 11. Usually we’re hiking before 9… I’m trying to pay attention to the altitude aclimatization process. Hence the slow morning. I look at the map and decide that we’ll go about 5 miles instead of the planned 10. So we’re headed to Round Lake.

Peggy reminded me to pay attention to what’s actually happening here on the trail and not the plan. Yes, I know that. And it’s lovely to be reminded… Creates more space.

The hike to Round lake is fairly level. There’s some altitude change, but nothing dramatic. We get to Round lake about 2:30. It’s enough for today. The wind is still blowing, but the gusts seem to be maybe 15-20mph as opposed to 40-60mph last night.

We need water for the night, so go down to the shore. Sherman gets a drink from the lake. While I’m filtering he finds a comfy place and watches.

Tomorrow the plan is about 8 miles. And looking at the altitude map, we’re headed back into the mountains. We’re at 8000 feet here. Our next two days are taking us over 9300 feet.

Time to sleep…