CDT Day 108: 24.5 miles/38 km

CDT SOBO: Mile 1468.0 – 1492.5

Friday August 2, 2019

Amazing how restorative a shower and clean, dry feet can feel. I’m so pleased we decided to stay overnight in Encampment. This morning Jim and Tammie, who gave a ride from the trailhead yesterday, agreed to take us back out at an early bird hour. Tammie and Jim are originally from Rawlins and now live in Arizona in the winter months, coming back to holiday at Encampment in summer. What a beautiful and generous gesture to help hikers out in this way.

The overnight rain was clearing leaving behind a magnificent rainbow we could see as we left town. By 6.20am we said goodby to Tammie and Jim and headed out back on trail. We were in a particularly buoyant mood. And the fact that we had blue sky made it even better. A couple of northbound hikers had warned us about the muddy section coming up.

It didn’t take long to reach this waterlogged ground. Knowing that it goes on for a few miles we took off our socks hoping to keep them dry for later. The wet boggy section was not all that bad as the mud was not overly sucky. The boggy meadows, which looked like the snow had just receded, were interspersed by forested sections. There was hardly any wind so it was incredibly quite and peaceful.

Once we started to climb out of the meadows, distant mountain views started to open up. Colorado looked ever so close. The mountain we climbed over after the meadows was difficult to navigate. I can imagine how difficult this section would have been under snow. The red granite boulders defined the landscape which made it hard to see any semblance of trail.

Descending off this mountain we stopped for lunch by Dale Creek. A thunderstorm started to roll in behind us. It dropped a few fat raindrops while we were having lunch and then rolled away. The forest was peaceful and silent again as we resumed hiking.

We encountered quite few blowdown sections which took some time to get around. We stopped at a trailhead carpark to rest and enjoy the patches of sunshine. Not too long after a car pulled up and we met Lorax who is a CDT volunteer. He was here to cut the blowdowns we had just been going over and around. Too late for us but good for the next hiker to come through. He said he loves this trail and volunteering is his way of staying connected.

The late afternoon sky was clearing with huge puffy white clouds low in the sky. We got Wyoming done late in the day and entered Colorado. The trail in Colorado was cleared and followed a jeep trail which was pretty rough in parts. We stopped for the day just off the road. It is very quite, hardly any wind. A perfect end to a tough day.