Daily Miles: 19
Total Miles: 248
Today turned out to be a much harder day than we had bargained for. In fact, last night we had talked about trying to do a higher mile day today, since we knew that some bad weather was coming in a few days. But the trail had other plans for us.
Shortly after leaving camp, we started to encounter snow on the trail. At first, we could just easily walk around it and it wasn’t a big deal. However, as we continued, the amount of snow increased. The trail was often covered and we would have to search for a walk around to stay out of the snow, or just cross the snow and deal with the inevitable post-holing.
This became a very slow endeavor as we worked our way up and over a pass, and then up and over a different overlook. It was often very steep as the trail was obscured and we just tried to find the best route. Sometimes, as the trail followed the contour of a steep slope, we would either have to try to go up/down a steep slope of loose rocks, or we would have to try to side step across a large angled snowy area. Both options were equally nerve-wracking.
When we were getting close to Goldstone Pass this morning, we found two five-gallon buckets tied up in a tree. There was a note attached which said they were for someone’s winter hike on the CDT. Seeing as how they are still hanging here in June, we figure the guy never did his winter hike after all.
By the time we stopped for lunch, six hours into our day, we had only gone eight miles. It was a bit demoralizing, as there was nothing we could do to speed things up. The only consolation was that the weather was perfect today.
As we were finally getting out of the snowy part of the trail around 3pm, we ran into our first backpacker. He is out just for a few days on the CDT. He told us that the trail coming up for us is clear for about 20 miles, and then it has about thirty miles of snow. That was not good news for us, seeing as how the 11 miles of snow we went through today were so difficult. Plus, by the time we make it to those snowy miles ahead of us, the bad weather will be upon us.
We thought more about this over the afternoon and when we stopped for dinner, we discussed the idea of getting off the trail tomorrow at a trailhead where a local hostel will pick us up. It is supposed to thunderstorm tomorrow evening, then the next day is supposed to be 45 degrees and rainy down in the valley at much lower elevations, and the day after that it is supposed to be snowing. So, we may be in for several rest days as we let the bad weather pass.
We ended up walking until almost 8pm. We are all hanging across the trail in a zig zag pattern. The mosquitoes are insane tonight, so we all got into our hammocks right away.