Ken and Cindy fed us a great breakfast before dropping us back off at Hogpen Gap. It was raining again but just lightly and it stopped by noon. The whole day has been covered in mist though, you can see it over everything. I stopped for lunch at a shelter at noon that people were already stopped at for the day just to make sure they got a shelter spot for the night. I went all the way to Blue Mountain shelter, arriving at 4 and expecting it to be full but no one was here. There were already two tarps strung up over the opening and it had a covered table so I threw my stuff down to claim a spot.

I went 11.9 miles today but the trail didn’t go over the tops of any mountains, just skirted the sides, so it was relatively level. I was flying until the last couple of miles where it turned to steep rocks. The rocks haven’t been as slippery as I expected them to be, really the mud is worse. Today was mostly mud trail, except where it turned to stream trail. A lot of the springs are overflowing so there were a bunch of waterfalls where there wouldn’t normally be. There are all kinds of mud too: brown mud, yellow mud, red mud, black mud, deep mud, shallow mud, thick mud, thin mud. It’s like a Dr. Seuss book of mud.

I’m still happy with my non-waterproof trail runners. Occasionally I’d feel a slide of cold water into the sides but it would go away after a moment. My gaiters keep my regular pants clean and dry, my socks clean and relatively dry, and the tops of my shoes and my shoelaces clean. The rest of my shoes and my rain pants got covered in mud though.

Tomorrow might be bringing snow so I may run into town early for my resupply and stay there. We’ll see what the morning brings.

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