August 14 campsite to campsite 15.7 miles 5:45 – 1:15
It was a James Taylor Day — Fire and Rain
Very early morning started to rain. I was cowboying, and Toasted Toad (a thru-hiker) was packed up and headed out. The Rangers were closing trails because of fire threat as we move north, so we got going early to get past the fire and stay one step ahead of the closure signs. Long climb out of the site with some rain, got to ridge and met line of firefighters getting ready to do battle– that is some beautiful and brutal work. Stopped and talked a bit, then pushed on. We have been hiking in smoke since Rainy Pass so no need to stop to take pictures of the scenery. We pushed hard to get through Shaw’s pass just as they were closing that part of the trail. Some staff waved at us, and we just kept looking ahead and hiking. Heard later that they shut it down about an hour later. There is little listed water on this stretch so we headed for a camp that had some about 15 miles, arrived very early, basked in the sun and then about 3:00 the skies opened — wind and rain drove us into the tent. A brief respite at 6:00 let us cook, then back to tent while it howled all night. This little tent usually leaks, but it held up pretty well in the big storm. Read and slept in cramped tent for 17 hours-that’s all we could do. Sometimes the big outdoors can get claustrophobic.