Today was a big day; it would be our most difficult day and also my father’s birthday. We decided to cook our dinner for breakfast instead because it required water. Our reasoning for this was due to the fact that our last opportunity to fill our bottles would be today before we reached base camp. Wastefulness was not an option. We also sang happy birthday to my father before we left camp.
Our crew had stumbled across a fawn lying on the trail on our way to the next camp and marked it on the map. Not long after we arrived in the camp and notified the staff of the fawn and provided them with the location of the fawn. We lounged on the big porch of the main cabin and enjoyed it because the rest of the hike was notoriously difficult.
Filling every possible container, bladder, and bottle with water we began our ascent up Tooth Ridge; our packs weight rivaled our first day on the trail. The trail was soft and full of foliage at first. Strictly uphill for several miles we stopped on the side of the trail near the top of the ridge. There we sat and devoured our lunches while looking into the distance. Leaving our lunch spot the trail transformed to a barren landscape and covered with massive jagged boulders. I fell to the back of the group and cautiously stepped on each rock while teetering the edge of the trail making sure not to break an ankle. When I was not focused on each step I would look to my left and right at the beautiful landscape around me.
Eventually we stopped and savored the view during a break. Short as it was we all climbed back to our feet; we were close to our site. Entering trees again, the trail softened up and sure enough we arrived at Tooth Ridge camp. After camp was set up, we kicked back and rested. We placed a candle in a granola bar and my Dad and I blew it out to celebrate his birthday. Not too much happened afterwards…we went to sleep early in preparation for our climb to the summit of the Tooth of Time tomorrow.