Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 319
We decided that last night’s second campsite was our favorite of the trail so far. We had great views of the rolling hills extending for miles and miles. We decided that it would be pretty cool to have little cabin in that spot.
Most of the morning was spent walking on jeep roads, although “road” is a bit of an exaggeration, since it is basically just two tire tracks. We walked for awhile in the rolling hills, enjoying the scenery, as it was so different from the rest of the trail we’ve seen.
We eventually made our way into a valley and spent the rest of the day walking up it. It was very picturesque, with a river in the middle of the valley, twisting and turning like a snake. The whole valley was green and lush.
We finally encountered two stream crossings that the Colorado Trail Foundation had not built (or possibly not repaired/replaced) bridges for. We have been pleasantly surprised by how there are bridges whenever you could possibly want one, and even more. But today we had to ford two streams. We decided not to take our shoes off, so we just waded into the very cold water.
Once we stopped for lunch awhile later, we tried to get our socks and shoes to dry out. While they didn’t completely dry, things felt much better after the break. Walking with water-logged feet is never much fun.
In the early afternoon, we passed two fly fishermen. They offered us some fish for dinner, but we politely declined, and continued on. Not too long after that, we decided the sky was looking and sounding very ominous. As soon as we felt sprinkles, we headed into the trees and put up one of our hammock tarps. We managed to get it up just as the rain started in earnest.
Although we didn’t get hail, the rain was quite heavy and the thunder and lightning seemed to be right over us. The rain lasted for over an hour and then just fizzled to only sprinkles. We decided to keep walking, as we wanted to get another five miles in before the day was over.
The rain had made a mess of the trail, with lots of mud and flooded parts of the trail. The trail was also rather overgrown in parts, so our clothes and our feet quickly got soaked. With the slippery rocks and mud, it was slow going down the trail.
We stopped around five for dinner and finally saw two CT hikers going our direction. We saw James, who we’ve seen each day since Salida. And we met Jay who is hiking his first long trail. After talking with him for a bit, we realized that his best friend is someone Beardoh had met on the PCT in 2012. It is always crazy how small the world is.
We figured we could go two more miles after dinner. The distance was determined by elevation instead of energy. We had been climbing most of the afternoon, and we figured our last option for trees was just below 12,000 feet.
When we got to our two mile marker, there weren’t the trees we were hoping for. We had definitely pushed a bit too far. We ended up walking up a steep slope to the top of a ridge up from the trail, to find two reasonable hangs. It is pretty cold here, but we have nice views.
We are hoping for a mild day of weather tomorrow, as we will be spending a lot of the day over 12,000 and we don’t want to get caught in a bad thunderstorm like today when we are walking through exposed areas. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed for a reprieve from the monsoons tomorrow.