Daily Miles: 25
Total Miles: 1350
Today felt like a marathon day.
We got up in the dark this morning. We had thought that it was going to be a warm night, but it seemed that our culvert turned into a wind tunnel and it was quite cold. Once we were walking on the road, it didn’t feel nearly as cold as it was in the culvert.
We were woken up before our alarm by coyotes which sounded quite close. We both had the thought race through our minds that we hoped the coyotes didn’t use the culvert to cross under the road. Luckily they didn’t come any closer, but they were very loud way too early.
As we started walking, we got to see the nighttime stars for about twenty minutes before we could see the horizon turning colors for the sunrise. It was pretty cool to be out walking at that time to see the sky change from night to day.
We expected the day to get pretty hot, which is why we started walking in the dark. Even by 7:30am, we could feel it starting to get hot. When it is hot that early, you know you’re in for a scorcher of a day. In fact, it ended up being about ninety degrees today.
We managed to finish up our road walk by noon and reconnect back into the CDT. Our feet were glad to be done with the paved road…luckily no lasting pain in our feet. We were also glad to finally see trees again! And once we were back on trail, we were even walking in the trees! Yeah! After a week of no trees, it felt really good to walk in the shade of trees again.
By mid-afternoon, we finally came to our first natural water source since leaving Rawlins. We were down to our final sips of water (and the water in our bottles was hot from the sun), so we were grateful to find some clear and very cold water. We sat down in the shade for a long break and drank some of our new water.
We realized that we were closer to our next town stop than we had expected. In fact, it looked like we would have no problem getting into Encampment tomorrow instead of the day after. We will still plan to wait out the winter storm in town, but now we will have an extra rest day.
In our final miles of the day, we ran across two hunters near the trail. Turns out that bow season for elk and deer just started a few days ago. We chatted with them for a few minutes and then headed on to find a place to camp.
We finally made it to camp around 7:00pm…much too long of a day. We set up our tent again for the last time (until the very southern part of New Mexico). While we have appreciated having the tent during the windy nights in the Basin, we will be very happy to go back to our hammocks after Encampment.