Woke up next to the 'potentially dangerous ford' this morning. It was much less intimidating in the daylight, plus the flow didn't seem nearly as strong. Quest & Rapunzel left before us and I was surprised to catch up with them so quickly.
We greeted both of them loudly and they quickly quieted us. Apparently they hiked up on a mother bear and a cub on the trail!
They explained that the mother had run down hill from the trail and the cub had climbed a tree on the up hill side. It seemed strange that the mother would leave her cub. We decided to wait it out around the corner. From our position we could see the cub and hear it calling for its mother.
Eventually the mom came back and the cub scurried down to meet it. As they headed down the hill we noticed there was a second cub! All three of them watched us as we cautiously moved down the trail. One cub was in a tree and the second cub stood next to the mother at the base of the tree. I will forever have that national geographic-esk photo in my head. Truly wild.
During lunch a butterfly fell in love with Jake. It landed on his shoe and stayed there for quite some time. When he attempted to brush the butterfly away it would fly a few circles around him and land on his shoe again. After this repeated a number of time Jake put his pack over his feet. Then the butterfly just landed on his hat instead! We were both entertained and when we stood to leave it finally went left us.
Thru-hikers live by a number of mantras, one of which is "the trail provides!" That was the case this evening. One of the tips broke on my trekking poles and less than a mile later I found a rubber tip someone had clearly lost in the mud that worked as a perfect replacement! A few hours later I found myself urgently needing to use the restroom. I ran into the trees to dig a hole, but instead found a nice vault toilet there. Its location didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason but it was exactly what I needed! The trail provides.