It was still quite overcast when I got on the road.
I was thinking that my weather karma hath forsaken me! But, no. Soon, it was blue skies and sunshine for my climb up to Trail Creek Summit.
From whence I came.
I reached the summit shortly after 10:00.
Unfortunately, the downhill was not as long as the up (oops, another con for clockwise). I started climbing again at Silver Creek. The next one was a doozy (clockwise is not looking good here). Fortunately, where it got really steep, it was paved (strange because the sign at the beginning said, "Road not maintained for car travel").
On the way down, I met Vince, then Angie, who I had met the day I was going to Stanley. Angie had a bout of strep throat, so they'd been laid up in McCalł for three days. Thankfully, she was feeling much better.
I continued down to Boiling Springs. I thought I might stay there, but it was early, so I continued on. As I was climbing the next monstrous climb, I was regretting that decision--not that it would have gotten me out of the climb, I just would have done it in the morning.
The final climb of the day was...well, not the worst I've done (that award goes to Bald Mountain), but certainly not the easiest, especially after doing two other climbs. There was even a couple of places where I had to walk until I could get to a spot where I could get started again (the loose gravel makes it hard to get started). I should have known better than to stop. With about 6 miles left of the climb, I met my free campsite people from yesterday--Jessica, Dean, and Dana. Now I understood what they were doing. They left a car in Cascade, and were riding back to Tie Creek. Their goal for the day was Boiling Springs. They also told me that Clear Creek Station had showers! I was bound and determined to get there!
Once I got closer to the top, the views were pretty nice.
I think, 13 days ago, I was somewhere beyond those mountains.
I finally made it to the top of the main part of the climb. It was at the East Mountain Trailhead. Foolishly, I had planned to camp there. Why foolishly? Because there was no water. What was I thinking when I planned my itinerary? This is why one has to be flexible. Let's face it, even if there had been water, I still would have pushed on for Clear Creek, and my first shower since I left McCall 13 days ago!
There was still bits of climbing along the top of the ridge. It was like a roller coaster. I was nearly to the final downhill when I saw Emily and Dan, who I had met outside of Ketchum. They were really tired of climbing (a feeling I knew well). They had more to go. It was going to be a long day for them. The only reasonable place to camp (with water) was Boiling Springs (about 15 miles). It was already after 5:00.
I finally started the final downhill. This was the view from the top.
The water in the distance is Cascade Lake. The valley is where I was headed...about 10 miles.
The downhill had its moments of fun, and many moments of squeezing the brakes to not slam into the rain drainages. I hit the pavement with 2 miles to go to my shower. I made it right at 6:00. That's 10 hours on the road today! I checked in with "Uncle Bill", set up my tent, then beat feet for the shower. IT WAS THE BEST SHOWER EVER!!! I WASHED MY HAIR!!! IT WAS AWESOME!!! I FEEL LIKE A NEW WOMAN!!!
After THE BEST SHOWER EVER!!!, I went to the restaurant. I wanted pizza, but they were out of pizza sauce. I had a burger, and a salad (yum, veggies!). For dessert I had a piece of Snickers Pie. Funny thing, even after all that food (including two big glasses of ice water and a big glass of Dr. Pepper), I wasn't really full. I guess eating trail mix for 10 hours on the road is not really enough. In fact, even now as I sit in my tent writing this blog post, I could eat more (too late, I already brushed my teeth)!
So, I've now seen everyone except the couple (Mary and Ray) that I met just before Ketchum. I've got two more days until McCall.
Total Miles today: 51.6 (longest day on the loop!)
Average speed: 5.something (computer is not accurate--I know the miles based on the map)