CDT Day 124: 24.7 miles / 39.5 km

CDT SOBO: Mile 1822.0 – 1846.7

Sunday August 18, 2019

Camp (10,400ft) – West Tennessee Creek (10,050ft) – Bear Lake (11,100ft) – Saddle (11,400ft) – Timberline Lake Trailhead (10,050ft) – Bald Eagle Mt (11,100ft) – Rock Creek (10,300ft) – Ridge (11,300ft) – Mt Herbert Trailhead (10,100ft) – Box Creek (10,600ft)

It was another very cold morning start. It struck me this morning that since we’ve been in Colorado there has not been much birdsong in the morning. A little twitter here and there but no happy bird song. Maybe it’s the elevation? This morning the gradual climb out of the river valley was accompanied by the hum of the river we were leaving behind.

It was a beautiful still morning. Not a breath of wind, clear blue sky and a full moon still high up in the sky. It was breathtakingly peaceful and beautiful. Especially once we rose up out of the valley. The sort of morning you wish you could bottle in its perfection

The morning cold start gave way to a beautiful warm morning, perfect hiking conditions. We were entering the Holy Cross Wilderness inside the San Isabel National Forest.

We passed several glassy, high mountain lakes before reaching a summit at 11,400ft. With lakes came mosquitos. They were around but really not that bad.

We were hiking through healthy green forest for most of the day. The warmth and the sweet smell of the pines was so welcomed after days of wind swept ridge hiking.

From the high vantage point on the side of a mountain, the town of Leadville was spread out in a huge open valley to our left. It was fringed on the other side by huge chain of baren mountains.

Passing by the Timberline trailhead we started to see trail race markers. The Leadville 100 mile race was on yesterday. The race course shared a section of the CDT from the trailhead. It would have been good to have been here a day early to see the race in progress.

Late afternoon we passed another busy trailhead to Mt Elbert. We hiked up to the trail junction and continued on to a campsite by Box Creek.