Daily Miles: 21
Total Miles: 1571
We both slept pretty good, even though we were close enough to the state highway to hear the cars. While we were both toasty in our sleeping bags, we realized it was pretty cold out when we were packing up.
Luckily, we were heading right into a climb that would last for the next ten miles. This definitely helped to warm us up, but it still took awhile before we were ready to walk without a jacket or pants.
Our climb up 2,000 feet was quite gradual. The trail was really nice and it didn’t feel too taxing. It seems like this stretch of trail gets a lot of attention…there was good and new signage, and almost all of the deadfall was cleared off the trail.
As we got to the top of our climb (a little over 10,000 feet), it got chilly and breezy and it started to sprinkle and then to hail. We decided to stop for an early lunch and found some shelter under a big pine tree. As we sat having lunch, we got quite cold and put back on some extra layers. We even heard elk bugling several times while we sat there, which was pretty cool.
Once we started walking again, we were constantly taking our mittens and windshirts on and off. When the sun was out, it was warm, but whenever a grey cloud would cover the sun we would get really cold again.
Shortly after picking up our final water before our next town (a 15 mile water carry), we ran into a couple who are out for a five day backpacking trip. Dot and Dave were really fun to talk with. We chatted with them for almost a half hour and then realized we better get going, as we were still hoping to get another ten miles in today. We just really enjoy the few social interactions we get on the trail.
This afternoon we walked on new trail, as the CDT has been rerouted off of private land in the past few years. The new trail was really nice and it felt like we were able to keep a good pace.
Shortly after our dinner break, we ran into a guy at his camp who has been hunting with friends. They had gotten an elk today and he was salting the hide. He showed us the rack from the elk and it was really big. He said it took two people making three trips to bring all of the elk back to camp. It was the first hunter we had talked with that had gotten an elk this season.
We walked another few miles and then found a really nice place to camp. So much of the forest today has been a hammocker’s paradise, with big, healthy trees and little undergrowth or debris. The sun was setting behind us as we set up camp…making for a picturesque scene.