Upper Nowlin Meadow (1958.6 R)
Day 116 – 8/15/17
Miles – 18.5
Total miles – 1751.1
It rained last night, but we did not care, because we were nice and warm in our hotel room. When we did wake in the morning, we found that the sky was mostly clear. Today’s weather forecast calls for rain and thunderstorms thus, we knew our blue sky will not last long. At least, it gave us a good mental outlook for this mornings hike. The best news was that the long term forecast was for clear and warmer weather starting tomorrow. Hurray!!! Bling and Papa Raven went out for our usual breakfast here in Dubois of donuts and milk. We have been buying only one each, but this morning since we are hiking, it is two each. They are freshly baked. Our favorite is the maple and chocolate bars. At home, apple fritters are our first choice however, they do not make them here. That is alright, because what they do make is delicious! It will make a good calorie packed breakfast. We worked on closing up the packs and waiting for our ride. We loaded the gear in the car by 8:30. Back up to the pass, we went. It was cold at the motel so we knew that it would be even colder at the trail and it was. We put on our long sleeves and our down coats. At the pass, there were more clouds building up than down in Dubois. For the first few miles, the trail was non-existent. We had to follow posts and we get lost several times. Out of frustration, we decided to simplify the situation by cutting up to a dirt road that the trail would eventually join up with. We came out at Brooks Lake and stopped for a few minutes. There was a wall of cliffs looking over the lake. We think this wall is referred to as the Great China Wall. It was a very impressive and beautiful setting.
It can be hard leaving town. Often, we feel sluggish and hiking is slow going. Having 2.5 days off makes it even worse. After hiking to Upper Brooks Lake, we started to get our legs working more efficiently. Building thunder clouds were above us. We knew rain would be unavoidable. As we hiked from a valley, we got closer to the thunderstorm. We could hear it in the distance for awhile but it was moving across in front of us. The rain started light and grew heavy. After a half an hour of rain, the storm moved to the east. The only problem was that all the over grown plants over the trail were wet, which made us wet as we walked through the them. Additionally, the trail became a thick sticky mud, which coated our feet with an equally thick layer of the brown ghoo! All the mud made the trail very slippery. With our late start, we pushed for as many miles as we could get to line is up with our assigned camps site in Yellowstone. We will see how tomorrow goes. It seems for weeks now, we have gone to bed with wet shoes and woke to put the those same on in the morning. We are so hoping for a change of weather!
We are officially in Grizzly county. We have our bear spray and we need to change the way we set up our camps in the evenings. We need to start cooking away from where we camp and hang our food. We did not do a good job of it tonight. We are still trying to get into this new routine. We will be fixing dinner at our last break instead of camp. One thing we have noticed, was that there are very few places to hang food. The trees are small or have branches that are too small. In Yellowstone, there will be locations to hang. This will make the job of hanging food much easier.