Miles: 22
Camp: My CDT mile 1059.5
Elevation at camp: 10500 feet

It rained hard all night long, so hard that water would splash back off of the ground and hit the mesh screen of my inner tent. My head and feet weren’t getting soaked, but they weren’t staying dry either. I tried to ignore it, as getting out to tighten the guylines would only get me and my gear even more wet…so I slept through it the best I could. It actually turned out to be a decent night of rest…but not a great morning.

It was still raining hard by morning, my tent walls sopping wet with rain and condensation. Getting out to use the loo was a challenge I really wanted to avoid, but that is something I can’t skip. There is no cutting corners on that one, when you gotta go…so I got suited up and begrudgingly sought decent digging ground. Rain was incessantly coming down and I had myself cornered between the river and the trail, no proper place to leave my business. I became frantic as I had already waited too long, and I ran off into the woods. Let’s just say I barely made it and was put off by my own anxiety over the whole ordeal. It made for a sour mood in the morning, packing up camp became a clumsy undertaking and everything was just so wet.

As I hit the trail I had to really get my head in the right space. There was no way I was going to let myself be in a bad mood all day, especially with the rain. I had to choose a different attitude.  I told myself the rain would stop eventually and there would be time to dry my gear; that the rain is a blessing that keeps the air cool and the mosquitoes at bay; that I’ve already endured and overcome far bigger obstacles than today. I’m tough enough to handle a rainy day.

Then I really began to appreciate the views. The rain clouds and fog were moving rapidly around the mountains creating really cool and ever changing scenes. I moved swiftly and effortlessly, allowing the cool air to cleanse me and I began to feel really good.

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A woman passing by asked, “did you have to pack up camp in the rainn too?”
I refrained from sarcasm (but kind of wanted to say ‘no, it was all sunshine and rainbows at my camp.’ Instead I simply said, “yes.”
“Terrible,” She said, shaking her head in disgust.
I shrugged and said, “it’s just weather. We can only choose our attitude and our clothing.”
She looked surprised, “you’re right.”
And we walked on in different directions, perhaps never to cross paths again.

That interaction really helped me for the rest of the day. Not only did I believe my own words, but maybe I helped turn her day around too. I smiled and hiked on, my sights on Copper Mountain Ski Resort and the promise of a burger. It’s right on trail and at 13 miles from camp, the perfect time to take a long and large lunch.

I arrived at the resort surprised by the amount of people there. I hadn’t thought about the crowd, but they weren’t getting between me and a cheeseburger today. I got myself a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a coffee. Weird combo, but I wanted to be able to hike another 8+ miles after lunch without the lethargy. I managed to get some Internet chores done at the same time, so it was a productive lunch. I will be in town tomorrow, so I didn’t need to linger. I really look forward to town this time, I need a shower more than ever. It has been a hot and sometimes humid section with lots of big climbs. I have never been so bothered by my own smells, though I do take baby wipe baths every night. It has been a solid week without a shower, in the same clothes. Yeah, gross.

I hiked the next 8 miles smoothly. 5 were uphill miles, but the clouds kept the views and the air nice and cool. I did drop my umbrella and had to go back at least half a mile to retrieve it. That thing is a lifesaver out here, and I refuse to live without it. It set me back about 20 minutes to go find it, but it felt awesome to move along trail without my pack (at 12800 feet!) Now I’m in camp only 5 miles from the road to town, primed for a nearo. My friend Pockets from the PCT will meet me in town tomorrow too, I’m really excited!

Now I’ll listen to the rain on my tent (yeah, still raining out here) and stay as dry and comfortable as possible. If feels like sleep well come easy tonight. I like that feeling. I love that my day ended better than it started, that I won over my own grumpyness, that I’m here on this fabulous adventure. I sure do love this trail.

Dinner: mac and cheese with tuna, salsa and broccoli.

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