After what seemed like a full day off (and the accomplishment of many needed town chores), we enjoyed one last town breakfast and headed back to the trail. On the way, we passed by a wildlife reserve owned by the Smithsonian and got a glimpse of a few ibex (ibex on the trail!). Then we started out on what would prove to be a hot hot day.
We’ve been walking with Wired these last few days. For another perspective on these days we’ve walked together, I strongly encourage you to read her posts (she’s much better at this whole blogging thing than I am — and sometimes we even take pictures of different things).
The miles today seemed to melt away. The people seemed to melt as well. It was hot and humid the whole day and our bodies haven’t quite adapted to the heat. Today was also a no view day, so we just kept our heads down and walked. Cartwheel and RobinHood took turns trying Wired’s umbrella as a sunshade (quite effective) and Mama Bear even tried Wired’s pack for a while (Mama Bear has been using the same pack she thru-hiked with last time around, but after trying on a pack that was both more comfortable and about a pound lighter, she decided it might be time to upgrade).
At one point Orion could hear some birds moving around in a deep briar thicket. He perked up, but paused at the impenetrable brush, then he reared up and pounced through it. There was much rustling and he emerged again covered in briars and vines (the birds flew off easily). I was chuckling too much to get a good photo, but this attempt was more successful on his part than a previous attempt to dive into some thick rhododendron. Those woody stalks were too springy for him and he only made it about halfway in before they launched him backwards (seeming to spit him out) all the way across the trail.
We got to camp, our clothes saturated in sweat, and sat still trying unsuccessfully to cool off by the stream. Finally, resigned to the humidity, we finished our camp chores, packed the kids away in their hammocks and then climbed into the tent for a sticky night’s sleep.