We wake up late, well after sunrise. Today is a leisure day, for exploring and resting before the big hike to Fairyland tomorrow.
I join Laurie down at Broad Creek for the morning water pumping session. I also take the time to wash my face and brush my teeth and then I head back up the hill to help with breakfast chores. It's oatmeal in a pouch today for me. In fact it's oatmeal for most of us! Lori has already gotten the fire going again but I am always happy to join in with fire-making. I gather some more wood because I know we will need it later.
Once we finish breakfast and get all that put away, we hang our packs again and head off to explore. We concentrate on Joseph's Coat on both sides and whatever thermals are nearby. We wear our sandals and take a walk in Broad Creek. We explore the spot I call Buckets of Paint - a thermal runoff oozing out of the reddish hillside above Broad Creek over bright green moss and bright blue bacterial matting. Lori and Mark discover that Crocs are not as well-suited to walking in Broad Creek as they thought.
We don't want to over-do it today because tomorrow is the day that counts so after climbing around the thermal hills a bit more, we wander back to camp for an afternoon nap. Then we get more firewood and do more pumping, and then the filters need cleaning so we do that, too. There is a high amount of algae in Broad Creek and this messes with water filters, but once they are cleaned, they work fine. We have a slight setback as Gary is not feeling well and might have a migraine but eventually he takes a pill and drinks a lot of water and after a while he feels fine again. Lori and I both have developed slight digestive issues (we blame the oatmeal!) but luckily for us both, it goes away fairly soon, too.
It's time to prepare for dinner so we do - it's macaroni and cheese tonight, with re-hydrated peas - and then Laurie pulls out a package of little sausages which we mix into the mac & cheese. We have another great fire tonight and the gorgeous stars come out again. We can hear various hissing and steaming from the nearby vents and of course we hear the gentle gurgle of Broad Creek. As for wildlife, we have seen and heard ravens, and there is at least one mouse in our camp - we found its nibble marks on the plastic water tube on the water filter that we left out last night. Luckily it was easily repaired, but let that be a lesson to all other campers!
We get to bed early tonight because tomorrow we are hiking to Fairyland! Tonight is not quite as warm as last night, but I still don't need to wear my socks. I am very confident and comfortable in my tent, sleeping on my new thermarest without my usual skittishness. Sweet dreams to all!
Today I saw: birds, ducks, evidence of bison and elk, 4 Loons and the spirit of Allison