Location- side of trail
Elevation- 10,479 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 20.1 (9.1 CDT)
Distance Traveled Total- 1,028.3 miles
Weather/Temp- clear, 70s
Pain level- zero
Spirits/Morale- missing my girlfriend
Wildlife encounters- Tarmaghen
Days without shower- 1
Days without laundry- 6
Even though it was a beautiful day, we still didn’t make it back to trail until after 11 am, despite a quick hitch. What hurt the most was knowing none of the miles or energy counted towards anything until we got back on the CDT, which happened a little after 3pm.
Our little trail family has lost a member, but picked up two. Sonic stayed on trail, but decided to forge on ahead. She is thinking about attempting a speed record of the Colorado Trail (which is congruent with the CDT for a decent chunk), so she’s trying to use what miles she has left in Wyoming to prepare herself. The two members we picked up are a boyfriend and girlfriend couple named Mongo and Honey Pot. They hiked the PCT together a couple years ago.
Aside from some pretty rock formations, it was a very low key and uneventful day. I caught a few small trout that were too small to eat, then managed to break my new fly rod while walking around a creek. It’s broken beyond the point of being able to use it correctly, but I managed to Jimmy rig it enough that I can still improvise enough to catch fish…I think.
When all was said and done, we managed to gain about 9 miles of trail on the CDT. This means we hiked more sideways miles than forward miles (ohh it hurts!). Everyone has their tents set up on a sage covered plateaue overlooking a lake with no name. I’m cowboy camped in the center of them feeling safe and sound from bears. This is the third trail night in a row that I’ve cowboy camped. Since sending my hammock home, I’ll be sleeping under the stars on just about every night that I’m certain it won’t rain. The forecast looks good for now…
Tomorrow we should enter another side trail called “Cirque of the Towers.” It’s ranked as one of the top ten hikes in North America, so I’m once again dying of anticipation. We don’t really gain or lose any miles from the CDT by taking this alternate, but the terrain on the alternate is said to be very difficult, which simply means we’ll lose more time at the very most . I’m sure it will be worth the extra sweat and breath either way…