Daily Miles: 21
Total Miles: 353
Today was definitely a “favorite” day on the trail. It was quite chilly as we left camp this morning. We all had our wind shirts and mittens on. It was several hours before we actually felt the sun.
The day started out going through several meadows that were full of early morning dew. While it was a bit wet, it was very pretty to walk through.
We ran into two northbound CDT hikers this morning and chatted with them a bit. One of the guys (Creep), recognized Beardoh from the PCT in 2012. Turns out they had met briefly at Kennedy Meadows during their thru-hikes. It’s always fun to reconnect with people we’ve met on other hikes.
The bulk of the day was spent walking along a string of different lakes. Sometimes we were right down along the shore, and other times the trail took us up above the lake. It was so beautiful and peaceful along the water. It was also quite hot when the sun finally found us…we quickly went from feeling cool to sweating.
The trail today seemed to alternate between forested and exposed. We weren’t sure which we preferred, because the forested sections were nice for giving us shade, but there were a lot of downed trees we had to climb over. We avoided having to deal with the blow-downs in the exposed sections, but it was incredibly hot. But, those seemed to be the only two options we were given today.
After a long exposed section, we came down to the shore of Lake Granby and decided to take a cooling off break in the lake. The water was cold, but it was so refreshing after walking in the sun. We also washed out our shirts, since we are all smelling a bit ripe these days.
Once we were sufficiently cooled off, we headed out on a road to connect to another lake. We seemed to be in car camping central, as we walked by multiple campgrounds which were quite busy. Even walking on the road, there were a lot of cars going by, leaving or heading to a trailhead.
It started to rain on us as we were walking along the road. It quickly felt like there was going to be a lot of rain, so we stopped and put on our rain gear. Of course, by the time we had our ponchos/rain jackets on, the rain had pretty much stopped.
After our road walk, we were back on another trail around a lake. There were quite a few day hikers on the trail. Luckily, we got to see another moose. We were coming around a corner and the moose was just in the trail…pretty close. He headed off into the woods, but we were able to get a good photo. We were happy to see the moose, especially given how many hikers were on the trail.
About halfway around the lake, our trail diverged and we started a pretty hefty climb. We met another hiker near the top who was out with his dog on a practice 3 day hike to see if he was ready to hike the Collegiate Loop here in CO. His pack was pretty large and he asked for some advice on how to lighten his load.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty mellow walking, as we mostly maintained our elevation around 10,000 feet. We got to camp around 6:30pm and are now hiding in our hammocks from all the mosquitoes.