July 19th
Green River Valley(1692.7)-3mi After Lake of the Woods(1722.2)
Campsite Elevation: 9,399ft

We awoke to condensation in our tents. It was unavoidable as we were near the Green River and deep in a canyon. Mine had a lot with droplets covering the inside of my tent and the bottom half of my sleeping bag. That means that lunch will be less of a break as it will be spent drying out our tents and sleeping bags. It’s just a pain to unpack everything to dry and then repack it 15mins later. All of us wanted to stay in our comfy warm tents this morning. It was damp and in the low 40s in the canyon. We started hiking at 7am and said goodbye to the amazing Winds as we paralleled the Green River which led to Green Lakes. Here is the view looking back at Square Top from Green Lakes. We were sad to say goodbye so soon and understand why so many hikers later return to the Winds to do more exploring!

Then the canyon opened up and we had a 2,000ft hike to get over the 10,137ft Gunsight Pass. It got hot quick and we were all pretty worn out. At this point, we know all the excitement of this leg is behind us and we are just ready to get to town where we can relax, and most importantly, get off our feet. There was little scenically to distract us from thoughts of town. Pretty much the whole day was in HOT exposed areas with overgrown grass and brush that we had to walk through and all types of flies, gnats, and mosquitoes pestering us all day.

If I didn’t have my MP3 player to distract me, I’d be really annoyed. The combination of long grass with the heat, bugs, and many mosquito bites on my legs is uncomfortable and are some of my least favorite things all combined into one. It’s the kind of thing that makes a claustrophobic person like me want to explode if I don’t distract myself. I used my MP3 player and I soaked my bandana at stream crossings and wrapped it around my neck to cool off.

 We all needed a distraction from the discomfort, so we listened to another audiobook aloud together that we briefly started yesterday. It is called, And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, who also wrote the Kite Runner. His descriptive and interwoven way of story telling is just what we needed. We are all very interested in the book and acutely focused on every word. A great distraction! We listened to over 6hrs of it today and hope to finish the next 7hrs tomorrow possibly. The solar charger I use (Suntactics sCharger 5) has been wonderful for this type of thing. The speaker Bloodbath and Rampage have is called an iHome and I’m going to look for it in town to have in Montana if I’m hiking alone and was to play something out loud to warn the grizzlies I’m coming.

As for the rest of the day, we got another special lunch and got to have Mountain Houses (from the Boy Scouts yesterday) for lunch. We are all so hungry that it look like even with all they gave us yesterday, we will still eat almost everything we have. Bloodbath found a big Bolette mushroom along the trail and was able to cook it up and add it to their Mountain House dinner tonight. I’m too picky to eat mushrooms.

 We saw these interesting large birds from a distance. They looked like they could be my size and they were really loud. Their sound was like a cackle that resembled the noise of a repeatedly squeaking balloon. Anyone know what these are??

We got to camp early (for us) by 7pm. We’ve been going til 7:30pm or later lately and it’s great to be settled early. I will actually finish journaling before 10pm! We have been aiming to get into town super early to give ourselves almost two full days in town. Bloodbath calls it a Super Nero and a Zero. We are all really excited about it! We are only 32mi from the highway to hitch into Dubois, so the plan is to get within 5mi or so of the highway tomorrow and probably stop a little early again. Then hitch in early the next day for our Super Nero and a ZERO the next day. So excited!! We’re almost there!

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