Up at 5:30 into the bitter cold. The night temps really tested my limits. I should have brought my ski mask and gloves. I am also going to look into an under quilt for the hammock to keep my backside warm. Inside the hammock it was 32 degrees, and out in the morning breeze even colder. Rusty was up shortly before me and began stoking the fire. In the darkness and frigid temps getting a morning fire going consumed us. It was too dark to get water from the spring so we boiled some from our hydration bladders for morning oatmeal and coffee. We packed and started off on the trail at sunrise.
|Rusty Nuts and I standing atop one of the vistas along the trail|
This left me to ponder my options: call it quits and hitch a ride with him, continue on solo, or give him time to fill up on much needed calories and convince him to go at least a bit fitter. After some Bayer, a nap on the couch, and a pep talk I convinced him to ouch on to the next shelter 4 miles away. When the rain subsided we set foot, grudgingly, but forward. Again I was off in a flash. I have no doubt I could have done the 22 miles and gotten back onto schedule. I conceded to short hikes with him and have us picked up Saturday night at another wayside just a short jaunt away.
We arrive at our final shelter of the trip to find it empty, with a nearby spring, and a fire pit. We collected fire wood, filled our waters from the spring and built a fire. Another hiker came for the night but will be tenting 20 yards away.
Dinner was Spanish rice with chicken and tortillas. We sat by the fire till ten and parted was for some sleep. I'll be in the hammock and he in the shelter.
|Camp set up at Rock Springs Hut|