Section F: Day 2
The second day of section F takes me out of the forest and into some more open areas with views and some sunshine, which buoys my spirits somewhat. The route is for the most part a boggy and buggy mush which I will soon come to see is characteristic of these Northern ranges, and what trail there is would be better described as a linear mud puddle than a trail per se. Still it is easier than bushwhacking, and is easy to follow.
The trail eventually disappears into the huge open Miette/Centre pass, this is perhaps the largest pass I’ve been in on this whole hike and lies directly on the divide - remarkably, the first time the GDT crosses the divide since Howse Pass back in section D.
I lose the trail for a bit in the great expanse of this pass, and end up having a delicious, sun-drenched, splashing climb up a creek bed back to the trail, which for a while is as solid and mud free as you could hope for. I notice that as I walk further north, glaciers are becoming more frequent. It’s lovely to see them, still there, hanging on to the flanks and pouring their grey hearts out to the green valleys below.
Some creek crossings and another squishy pass later, I hit a recovering forest fire area and my pace slowed as I crawled over deadfalls. The burn area was redeemed however, by bushes heavily laden with blueberries which I crammed in my mouth as I walked, thinking uneasily of bears. As well as numerous false morels, squatting like toads at the base of the ash grey trunks.
I had heard that the ford of Upright Creek was a bit hairy, so I opted to camp at the Colonel Creek horse camp, still in the burn area, in order to hit the ford first thing in the morning when it would be at its lowest. Again, a thunderstorm hits just as I am setting up camp, but my shelter is up in no-time and spurred into action by swarms of bugs, I am fed and tucked in well before dark, listening to the booming over the hills, and counting the miles between lightning flashes and the thunder's response. I think about that first thunderstorm early in section A, and the awe and fear is struck into my heart at the time and chuckle to myself. The mountains may have lost some of their immediacy and luster after all these weeks immersed in them, but they feel kinder now somehow.