ENTERING THE MT ZIRKLE WILDERNESS
CDT Day 109: 27.5 miles/44 km
CDT SOBO: Mile 1492.5 -1520.0
Saturday August 3, 2019
It was a delicious but dreamless night of sleep. The predawn was a perfect temperature, still and silent. Despite uninterrupted sleep it seems most days now we wake up feeling tired and hungry.
From our campsite, the trail continued on the jeep track that was a bit of a roller coaster, very steep and eroded in sections. We made slow progress. The views from the rises were expansive towards rugged mountain peaks in the distance. It was so still and silent, no chirping or birdsong, just the sound of bees buzzing around and a few mosquitos.
By mid-morning we descended to a meadow with a creek running through it. Everything looked so lush and green. We followed a series of these meadows stopping at Trail Creek for lunch. The descent to the creek was incredible. The slopes were covered in an impossibly dense array of colour and variety of wildflowers.
We followed a series of creeks crossing the large Middle Fork Elk Creek on a bridge. From here we commenced a 3,000 foot – 8 mile climb. It was hot in the afternoon sun and any shade provided by the pines was welcomed. We entered the Mt Zirkle Wilderness in the afternoon and stopped to camp at an unnamed lake at 10,700 feet in elevation.
A new crescent moon was up in the sky as we set up camp. A thunderstorm was breaking somewhere to the east of us. In the evening twilight elk calling, with their bugle like call, was the only sound that occasionally broke the silence. It was a most perfect day on trail.