Our shuttle driver was picking us up at 7am. I got the guys to wake up at 6am. We finished packing our bags and cooked the rest of our eggs. I downed two cups of coffee and visited the bathroom several times before I knew it was time to go.
Stan dropped us all off us at Monarch Pass by 7:30. The trail was pretty easy compared to what we had just done. Tim walked with us for a bit. I was pretty tired and snacked on my candy. The miles seemed to be going by at a decent pass. I was feeling a little sad from leaving town, realizing the journey was coming to an end, and missing my family. I walked a bit with D&D and later in the afternoon with Professor.
We got hit with a mid-day storm. I was in an exposed valley ahead of the guys, hoping they would catch up. I could see the strikes of lightening in the valley. Looking back, I spotted Dine and Dash. I told him what I saw and we headed down to lower elevation. We weren’t sure which direction the storm was headed. Tears filled my eyes. Thankfully the storm passed us.
My friend Cosmic Charlie is suppose to meet us at camp.
We hiked 22.7 miles and finished the Collegiete West. The miles didn’t seem be that hard. Cosmic Charlie didn’t show up. He camped about 9 miles behind us.
We intended to get up at 5am but I just couldn’t do it. I was too tired and it was cold. 5:40 is when I started to pack up. Professor was ready before any of us and took off down the trail. I wouldn’t end up seeing him again until lunch 14.4 miles away.
Dine and I crossed paths in the morning before walking together through the cow pasture. Some cows were on the trail, so he took out his ukulele and sang to them. They just stared at us but did move out of the way eventually. I listened to Dine play for the rest of the downhill. We walked down a rocky logging road until we entered the woods.
Next, the trail snaked small ups and downs and across some exposed fields. Most of the trees had been eaten by Japanese beetles. I passed three dirt bikes.
I met up with the guys for lunch at our next water source. We dried out our stuff, I elevated my feet and then we’re headed back out to hike 8 more miles. Professor wanted to do 16. Dine and I wanted to do at least 20. We ended up doing 23.1 and stopping along a road to camp in the bushes.
In between lunch and camp, the sky began to darken. I was alone trying to catch up with the boys. I did not like the thunder storm the day before. I saw them in sight but I quickly lost them again. I walked anxiously watching the sky, listening to the thunder, and holding back tears that the storm wouldn’t come this way. This happened 2 more times until the guys had stopped to wait for me. I was pretty mad they didn’t stop earlier and my eyes filled with tears. I sniffled my way up and over the last climb until it was all downhill to camp.