Daily Miles: 13
Total Miles: 332
Within just a few minutes of getting out of our hammocks this morning, a north-bound CDT hiker walked by our camp. Maybe he was still half asleep (it was only 5:30am), but he wasn’t terribly friendly. He just asked if we’d seen another hiker yesterday and then was on his way.
We finished packing up and started walking to get into town. We quickly passed into the national park and the trail was really nice all day…built up boardwalks, steps made of wood or stone, and bridges every place you would want one. We started seeing quite a few day hikers, some trail runners and some folks out for a few nights.
Today was also a great day for seeing wildlife. We came upon a group of elk, we saw two moose feeding out in a meadow, and we encountered a deer that was not at all skittish around us.
The alternate trail we took into Grand Lake was really nice as it followed a stream flowing through a wide meadow. Very picturesque.
We made it into Grand Lake around 10:30am and went straight to a restaurant for breakfast. It wasn’t our favorite breakfast place so far on the trail, but we had all been dreaming of a hot breakfast and of course cleaned our plates.
Next on our town task list was to pick up our resupply boxes at the post office. Unfortunately, the PO was on the far end of town, but it was easy enough walking. When we got to the PO, between the four of us we were expecting four boxes, but only one was there. MountainMan and Ace were missing their resupply box and a package from Amazon. The PO said they were trying to sort over 900 boxes today and that we could check back later.
So, for the next few hours, we sat at a table outside a nearby market, trying to cram into a tiny piece of shade while waiting to go back and check with the post office. In the end, there was partial luck, with MountainMan and Ace’s resupply box turning up. At least they were able to get their food for this next stretch.
After the hours of waiting in the sun, we were all famished, so before we left town, we stopped at the Dairy King for milkshakes and mozzarella sticks…the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
Then it was just a matter of walking out of town and back into the woods. We passed some pretty fancy houses along the road. The trail also went along the lake for awhile which was really pretty.
The options for camping were pretty slim this evening. The forest in this area has had a lot of devastation…tons of downed trees. But we managed to find a tolerable spot where we are a bit spread out. The mosquitoes continue to be terrible at pretty much all times of the day. When setting up camp, we often put on our wind pants and wind shirts just as protection from the bugs.