Day 21 mile 303

 We make a big breakfast of eggs sausage and beans . Then we wait around for our trail angel ,Janette , to pick us up . We organised for her to pick us up at 11am , but by 10am its clear we are all getting itchy feet . 

  

The trail has an allure and a power over us now . We are in its thrall! Janette arrives and we throw our packs into the back of her truck , she drives us to the trailhead and we make some adjustments and begin the days walk . 

always do your best

Today for me is an important walk , Im going to climb Mount Baden Powell , named after the founding father of the Cub Scout movement . I experienced my first outdoor adventures through the Scout movement and feel very grateful for those early formative challenges . So today im going to “Do my best !” , stay focused and remember my scouting days .

  

On the map its only 8miles to the top of the mountain, but saying that , it turns out to be quite an adventure ,snow up on the path makes slow going . Switch back after switchback after switchback , eventualy being submerged in snow and ice.A couple of times I totaly loose the pathway and Im grateful for the company and skills of the ‘pack’. We press on using GPS to navigate our way around some tricky turns , and use our ingenuity and gile to stay on our feet . 

wing it in action

By the time we top-out at over 9000ft we have a real sense of achievement. The views are truly spectacular and the trees and landscape are truly magnificent .

  

big toe , wing it and jukebox

 I hit 300 miles today and am planning on my next patch , so its a beautiful bit of serendipity that some other hiker has left a patch in the sign-in register at the top of Mount Baden Powell . I see it as a good sign ,and I put it in my pack to sew on next Zday. 

  

Wing-it slips on his bum and comes up laughing , I enjoy being in the company of people who dont take it all too seriously . We pick our way carefully down towards the snow line . 

 

be prepared
 
Later we take a long winding downhill to ‘Little Jimmys Campground’ where im told the bears are a real nuisance . I hide my food bag in an unused fire pit and keep my fingers crossed i dont loose my Snickers bars tonight .

bear country

We sit around a picnic table and eat , drink tea and fix our blisters . The talk turns to the day ahead , planning to detour around an ‘endangered species zone’ that means we will have to make an extended road walk . Maps and aps are drawn out to try and make sense of the diversion , but it only adds to the general confusion . One by one the lads hit the hay . I find myself up last , trying to edit some photos . I hit the hay satisfied that Ive relived a bit of my childhood today . I even have a patch to prove it !

I wake in the middle of the night and the full moon is so bright its like someone is shining a torch in my face . I listen to the sound of the pines blowing and am once again in the lap of nature , i hear a rustle and think maybe its a bear . Its Guss getting out of his tent to answer the call of nature . Ha ha ! 

Blister count :3

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