Daily Miles: 20
2021 CDT Total Miles: 37
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2107
It was really warm last night. We had a hard time regulating our temperature…swinging from hot and sweaty to very cold. We have come to expect that the first nights of sleep on a trail is going to be poor, and last night met expectations. It always takes us a few nights before we are sleeping soundly through the night. Surely the exhaustion from hiking will help us sleep.
We got up at 5:30am and were on the trail by 6:15am. It was cool enough that we started with our windshirts, but had them off within 20 minutes. The day started with a bit of a descent and then right into the rollercoaster of the day.
Before leaving camp, we rigged up some padding for SweetPea’s back which was irritated by the pack yesterday. We used some string to dangle a pair of socks off the back of her pack. Then she just had to position the socks in the right place between her spine and the pack. Even though the socks didn’t provide much padding, they actually helped the pain quite a bit.
We had three passes today and another random climb. Basically we were either climbing up to a pass or descending from one. There wasn’t much for flat trail today. As we started our first climb to Pintler Pass, we could really smell the smoke in the air. Sometimes it is hard to tell if the smoke has cleared or if we have just gotten used to the smell and no longer notice it.
The views today from all the passes were really great. Several valleys had pristine alpine lakes which we would walk by on the descent and then get a nice view of from the pass. When we got to the top of Rainbow Pass (our second pass of the day), we looked over to the next valley and saw that it was filled with smoke. It is interesting to see where the smoke seems to accumulate during the day.
We saw two hikers over the course of the day. The first one looked like he could be a CDT hiker, but we just got a quick greeting from him as we passed by. You can usually tell which hikers are interested in socializing, and this guy just seemed focused on hiking. Later in the day, we met Day Late who is hiking southbound on the CDT. He is finishing up a section hike of the CDT and will be done at Yellowstone, though he might keep going further south.
Luckily, our third and final pass (and fourth big climb) of the day was the easiest. Even though we were starting it at 5pm and we were already quite tired, the trail was quite nice up to the pass. The grade felt very friendly and the sun was hidden behind smoke, so we had some shade for the climb.
We made it to camp at 7:30pm and we are all pretty beat. Our legs feel like spaghetti and we are ready to just go to sleep. We tried to finish our camp chores as quickly as possible so we could lay down and completely relax.