Run into the Germans, who stayed at a site further up along from mine, but pull a little bit ahead of them as we make our way towards Ptarmigan Tunnel. Lots of switchbacking, a cool trail along a cliff (like about halfway up), through the tunnel, and an easy stroll down to Many Glacier, arriving just as the rain sets in, but having missed the thunder in the hills. Many Glacier has some backcountry sites, one of which I have reserved (pretty sparse right now though), and plenty of frontcountry sites as well. It's where I've parked my bike, and a couple across from my site invites me out of the rain underneath their tarp. I thank them, notice that the pouring isn't stopping, and let them know that I'm going to go put my tent up in the rain, primarily to see what gets screwed up to better know for next time. The rain is cold, with the temp in the lower fifties, and I have on my wicking shirt and shorts and my rain jacket. I forgo a thermal layer so as not to expose my dry stuff to the downpour and set in on getting my tent up. That the floor of the tent is waterproof is a mixed blessing, because once it's set up, there are puddles inside. Hm. Reasonable. I take my pack towel, which I have had absolutely no use for thus far, and begin mopping up the floor - perfect! Having considered it a low priority item, the towel was resting at the bottom of my pack liner, and to access it I stashed the rest of my dry gear on my sleeping pad, most of which was dry, while I mopped in sections. It worked out pretty well, and sticking the soaking stuff in the vestibule, I promptly crawled into my sleeping bag and passed out for a couple of hours. A large pot of pasta with the couple across the way and another neighbor, all of us next to their campfire, follows, and it's a pretty delightful evening. They were recently married and he cashed out of his banking job so they could pack up the truck and swing up to Alaska, hitting the road for a few months. Good sharing of stories, and to bed full and warm.
Up to discover some ice on the tent - seems the temp dropped some last night.. and make a breakfast of hot granola (thanks kitchen!) before hitting the trail.