Hey guys Bruce here, aka lil spoon, aka the English boy who is scared of bugs, aka Oliver.
We woke around 6, covered in spiders. We shared coffee and I ate porridge for the first time in ~500 miles. We left camp around 7 and the morning flew by as we covered the 12 mile stretch to where we’d agreed to meet Goliath, at the dirt road near Chimney Creek. On the way there we heard a mountain lion screaming in the valley below.
We got to Chimney Creek around midday. Goliath had just left to drop off some other hikers to Kennedy Meadows but luckily another angel, Jim, was there. Jim was an ex-park ranger and does private rafting tours through the Grand Canyon. His daughter, Kim, was section hiking and had passed by this morning. He gave us sodas, fruit, meats and bread.
Eventually Goliath returned with treats and humour, he told a passing driver that a tree had fallen down the road and that he couldn’t pass. A few seconds later he told the driver he was joking and we all laughed.
We thanked Jim and Goliath before leaving around 2pm. Everyone steamed ahead and I had to sit down because I’d eaten such an absurd amount for lunch and was in physical pain from my lack self control.
Okay, meg taking over now. Brucey, all beauty and brawn has tired of the blog and I’ll fill in the rest. As the clouds began greying during our time with Jim I smelt rain. Not long after setting off the familiar putter patter of natures moisture began falling on our shoulders. I was out front with Justin and we stopped quickly to pack our things into our pack liners and put on our rain jackets.
The rain continued to fall as we climbed. At one point we pulled over and I took off my jacket, underneath I was wet and I am unsure if it was because of the condensation caused by my sweat or because my jacket isn’t waterproof. Regardless, it was a nice walk up and out of the desert. We could see in the far distance snow capped mountains and the rain seemed to refresh the landscape around us. At the top of the climb we stopped, and here we have stayed. It wasn’t as many miles as we had intially decided on, however the rain and the view bought us to an early finish. Justin quickly set up his tarp and shortly after Harriet and Phoebe arrived. We set their tent up as Perk rolled in. I was waiting on Bruce. I haven’t bought a tent for this leg and it has come back to bite me. Bruce said i could share with him if I had too, but at this point I was unaware of his lunchtime indulgence and was feeling afraid he may never show. I felt huge relief when he turned up. I was sat in the tent with Harriet and Phoebe, reminiscing about the 15 hours we spent rained in atop the Australian Alps range late last year.
Everyone was snuggled up in their tents by early evening, dinners were cooked in vestibules and only just before sundown did we appear to check out the sun setting over the mountains. Phoebe put on some music and had a warm up dance and we remembered dancing to the mountain on the Larapinta which we did with my parents a few years ago.
Bruce and I shared stories and some couscous. I have learnt that I should never ever, under any conditions touch the sides of the tent when it’s wet. Tomorrow we head to Kennedy Meadows, it’s a huge milestone and a place that’s been sitting on my horizon for a long time.