CDT Day 1.2: Mokowami Junction to Mokowami Lake – Say Hey Bear Midnight Camp to Lake of Leisure Camp
Miles hiked: 1
Total miles: 14.5
The sun was full-on toasty when I opened my crusty eyes to greet the day. Somehow, Spice and I had slept through most of the morning. My phone said it was 11am, but it could have been 5pm the next day for all I knew. Clearly my body needed the rest after yesterday and I was happy to let it have it. With only one mile of hiking to camp, self-care was the priority of Day 2 on the CDT.
My back felt like a thick slab of cardboard, stiff with just a little bit of flexibility and in danger of snapping completely. Years of abuse and a recent trampoline mishap filled each vertebrae with a healthy dose of grrrrrrr. Grrrrrrr was also the sound my stomach was making so, with a wince or two, I dragged on my rain gear and stumbled out of the tent.
Rain gear? Though the weather was fine, big time mosquitos begged me to expose an inch of skin. Nope, no blood sacrifice today. The campground was quiet and not at all as scary as it had been last night. Breakfast, or brunch, was cinnamon granola mixed with the remnants of last night’s dinner. Delicious, if weird.
Hiking by 1pm. We make short work of the one mile to Mokowami Lake, on trail that brought us through dense berry bushes that were, no doubt, full of bears. The lake was a spectacular sight, turquoise-y water backed up by a sharp rim of high peaks. Snow dusting these tips finished off the postcard-worthy view. The small campground was empty so we took advantage of the sun to take a frigid dip. I regretted it before I even got my head under water, but the brain freeze was worth the clean feet.
Spice set up camp while I noodled around, figuring out how to rig a 3-1 pulley system for hanging our 5,600lbs of food. Fun and satisfying. Cloud watching occupied my time until dinner. Eating occupied my time until bedtime. Beans for me, liquid Hot Cheetos for Spice.
Though it seems like a strange way to begin a 3,000mile thru-hike, this recuperation day felt necessary. After grinding myself down during the first week of the PCT, pushing for 20-mile days despite the pain, I won’t take restful days like this for granted. The miles will come. Plenty of those to go round.