26 mi ::
1602 mi ::
Rainy morning, cool & breezy
It’s cold and rainy when I wake up. Mercifully the rain stops, leaving a bright but cold morning. It feels like a preview of fall weather, with puffy clouds racing by and damp smells rising up from the forest floor. I don’t think fall will be here in earnest for some time, but even a hint at changing seasons makes me feel very alive.
It’s a brisk walk to Stemple Pass. This area is popular for cross country skiing, and has several ski trails marked in addition to the CDT.
It seems like the morning just grows colder. A hot cup of coffee is marvelous. Ann and I shiver while I eat a turkey sandwich and hard boiled eggs, then she walks with me to the next trailhead. We plan to meet again this evening, 18 miles ahead at Dana Spring.
The cold breeze develops into a strong wind on top of the divide. When the ridge is barren of trees I can’t walk in a straight line for the wind. Most of the ridge is protected though, and I enjoy the hiking. I climb over two peaks with good views, Nevada Mountain and Black Mountain. On the way down Black Mountain Ann meets me. We camp about a mile from Dana Spring.