Forty degrees and rainy yesterday was enough to have the parents and kids alike on the edge, but we snuggled together in a dry tent and made it through a gusty night. The hardest part of the trip by far came this morning: putting on wet socks, shoes and clothes to start hiking in the cold with numb fingers and toes. Cartwheel was near revolt declaring that she wanted to be at home in her fuzzy pajamas with her Teddy, having pancakes for dinner, drinking hot cocoa and reading stories while snuggling in her own bed. It was hard to argue with her sentiment. Her mom explained that sometimes its going through these hard moments that lead to the best experiences. Cartwheel seemed extremely dubious (vocally so), and the frost on the ridge top did little to convince her. But eventually the sun came out, things began to dry out and it turned into a different day. A couple passed us and Mouse fell in step behind them walking at quite brisk clip. By the time we caught up with him, he had shared his life story, as well as that of his parents and his grandparents. Cartwheel traded places with him and continued to chat with them for miles. By the end of the day, we had done our longest day yet. In a trail magical moment, a fellow hiker broke out s’mores makings for everyone, and there was much rejoicing by the fire with many new trail friends. Cartwheel declared it was her favorite day of the trip. Rarely do we get to experience such extremes in a single day. Experiencing them together is what forges such strong relationships in the mountains.