Daily Miles: 23
Total Miles: 1470
It was a really nice night and we both slept soundly. SweetPea heard elk bugling several times this morning after 4am. “Bugling” is such a strange term for it, since it sounds so weird and nothing like a bugle.
We headed out just as it was getting light enough that we didn’t need our headlamps. The snow was only patchy this morning…we seem to be walking to the southern edges of the snow fall. Most of the day was completely snow-free.
We walked on a dirt road for a bit this morning. We saw a few hunters in their trucks heading out. We also saw some hunter camps along the road. We greeted a group of four guys who were camped and they invited us to have a cup of coffee by their fire. They were super friendly and we asked all the elk hunting questions that had been building up in our minds over the past two weeks.
We ended up chatted with them around the fire for at least an hour. They offered to make us breakfast, but we knew we had to hike a lot of miles today, so we declined. But we had a great time talking with them and left their camp in high spirits.
The walking today was pretty easy. A lot of exposed walking in fields that are lined by forests. The landscape actually reminded us of of the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Luckily it was a beautiful, calm day with blue skies.
It seemed like a lot of the trail today had been recently built. Some of the trail, we knew was four years old, but other trail seemed like it could have been built just this year. A lot of the new trail seemed more geared to mountain bikers with lots of extra twists and turns. For us walking, it felt kinda weird and overly built. But, it was smooth walking, so we didn’t mind it.
We ran into two hikers this afternoon who are out for just a few days. They were heading north to where we started yesterday morning. It was nice to chat with them for a few minutes. We realized that we hadn’t actually seen another backpacker on the trail since the Winds in Wyoming, which was probably three weeks ago.
We made it to camp by 6:30pm. We seem to be in an area where a lot of people are car camping along a dirt road. It’s not really clear if they are hunters or not. But we’re camped not too far from the road, so we can hear their vehicles coming and going. We are in our hammocks by 7:20pm, which is great, since last night we were just getting to camp at that time.