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Day 84 – Wrong Turn

To begin the day the faint route wound through alpine meadows and high lakes before climbing to 7,400’ on top of Goodenough Mountain, which is a great name for a mountain out here. Then it began the long descent, through a series of roads and light trails. Eventually I got to Chopaka Lake turnoff. My maps stated that there might be an alternate this way. I walked 5 miles the opposite direction as the true route and was then standing on top of a cliff. Against my better judgement I began to climb down. The first 300’ went fine, before I took a tumble, sliding on loose rocks and causing rocks to fly down the cliff. The it happen again. My stomach was in my throat. I was done, I had about 1,000’ to go and I would die if I continued climbing down this with a pack on. So I turned around and climbed back towards the top. With the top of the cliff in reach, and standing on two tiny nubs, I couldn’t raise my body 5 feet to safety. A fall wouldn’t be fatal, but it would likely end my trip. Shakily I took off my pack and swung it up and over the cliff, to rest it on top and I pulled myself up with my arms to join it. I retraced my steps and continued down the normal route, with 10 bonus miles and 4 hours wasted.

Miles 31 (with 10 bonus)

Total route miles 2720

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