Daily Miles: 9
Total Miles: 675
We knew that our next section of trail had more mileage limitations due to being above tree line (and our hammocking), so we decided to have a leisurely morning in Lake City. Of course, we still woke up around 5:30am, but we just stayed in bed for a few hours reading and chatting.
We had breakfast at the local cafe and then organized our food and packed up our backpacks. We headed out to the road after 10am and started our attempt at hitching back to the trail.
We had more hitching luck today…waiting only around ten minutes before a nice woman stopped and picked us up. Turns out that she is on the town council in Lake City and we had an interesting discussion with her about local politics. When she dropped us off at the trail, we realized she had only gone in our direction in order to get us to the trail…then she headed right back down to Lake City. It was really kind of her, since it was a 30 minute drive into the mountains to get us back to the CDT.
Once we started walking, the trail was on a jeep road. The walking was pretty easy, as the climb was very gradual. We knew that we didn’t have many miles to go, so we took things pretty leisurely. The trail was pretty rocky, but we were still able to keep a good pace. A couple miles into our the day, we happened upon a herd of sheep. Lots, probably several hundred. They were right on and around the trail grazing, and we were able to come quite close to them before they were move away.
We made it to our campsite before 4pm. We are right at the edge of the tree line around 11,700 feet, in what we believe are the last available hangs for next several miles. Tomorrow we will head out into a long treeless stretch that will last more than one day. We may do some creative route building tomorrow in order to get into areas with trees when we are ready to camp. We’ll see how it goes. Jonathon Ley has a short alternate that may take us into some trees and the mileage is with a few tenths of the official miles.