Miles hiked: 18.86 (+.44 to spring) (2184.95 to 2203.81)
Yellowjackets on trail: 19
Walking from my tent door is generally the most painful part of the day. My ankle hurt immediately, but after I wandered around for awhile, packing and puttering, it began to warm up. From Trout Creek to the Wind River, it was just low level pain and not too wobbly. I finally relaxed a bit and let myself enjoy the wide Wind River, where I caught up with Any Minute.
Then came 9 miles of climb, punctuated by 2:1 slopes and loose, sandy switchbacks. In the middle of it, at a forest road, we met a day hiker from Stevenson, WA who filled our water bottles and gave us snacks. Just a little unexpected trail magic makes the whole day better. I hurtled past stands of Devil's club and surprise groves of black oak, reaching the 15 mile mark (with the whole day's climb behind me) at 2:30. Water sources being scarce, we decided to stop at a campsite near the last spring for miles.