Spoiler alert: we did not wake to clear skies. We woke to a downpour and a puddle under our tent that was soaking through the floor despite a “waterproof” footprint. I dashed out to make breakfast and rescue some gear, and we hunkered down on rubber mats in our tent with oatmeal and coffee to wait it out. By the time it cleared up, and we’d dried our gear enough to pack it, it was noon.
The campground owners’ kids signed our cart and waved us off. Within 100 yards our safety flags failed (apparently velcro doesn’t work in the rain?!), and we had to reengineer them. Then some trouble with our hip attachment points that had to be overcome. Two miles on, as we neared our furthest west point, we finally fell into a rhythm.
Today’s 14 miles was entirely road walking. Rod pulled the cart the entire way, up hills and across highways. We walked under sunny skies and billowing clouds until our last rest of the day. At 11 miles, we sat down by the side of the road and the skies opened up and poured. We’re still not sure what we’d done to anger the weather gods, but as any walker can tell you: they’re notoriously fickle dieties, so it could have been anything. As soon as we stood to walk again, the skies cleared, which felt about right.
We made camp in a wooded campsite near the Sol Duc River, just north of Forks. The weather gods allowed us to pitch our tent, navy shower, and even cook dinner before sending another drenching rain. Then we finished our first day as we began it: damp, laughing, and huddled in our tent over a hot meal while the rain poured down outside.