Day 100 – zero! Waiting for the post office to open
Day 101 – 15.2 miles hiked 895.7 @ 11745ft
This morning we are all up and out of the room fairly early in time for a group outing to the post office. Grizzly has a resupply box to pick up, I have a birthday surprise to pick up and Tigerlily is bouncing forward some things he doesn’t need for this section.
I receive an awesome tshirt care of my gorgeous friend Lauren, from the perfectly named company Hikertrash. Hikertrash is owned and operated by a badass hiker named She-Ra – she was on the CDT last year and you should check out her blog with lots of brilliant adventures.
Packs fully loaded with way too heavy food bags, we have organised a ride back to wolf creek pass with a lovely local angel Addi. I spy a book in the back of her car as we are loading our packs, about the local edible and medicinal plants. I keep talking about wanting to know more about the millions of plants we hike by everyday, so this is perfect! I grab the book and bury my nose for the 20 mile ride back up, only raising it to pipe in with the conversation every now and then.
We tumble out of the car and straight up a 1.5 mile climb to take us back to 11594ft elevation. I stop at the top, feeling nauseated. Probably a combination of being back at altitude, having a heavy pack squeezing my belly, and making the silly mistake of reading in the car. I get carsick sitting in the back of a car at the best of times, so add in a very windy mountain road and reading and I’m doomed.
I drink some water and catch my breath and my stomach settles down, so we continue down the bumpy up and down trail. We come to a gorgeous lake sitting on the edge of a cliff, surrounded perfectly by boulders and trees. There are 2 hikers here -one crazy young guy who swims out to the other side, climbs up a boulder and backflips in! Way too cold for me to consider!
I eat some things and fill my water and we are off again. We come across a large group of young guys who are out for a couple of nights. It’s a bit of a mystery how they all came to be here – there are about 15 of them but aren’t part of any organisation and are from all over. Hmm. We leap frog with them for a little as we pass them, stop for water, pass them again, stop to put on rain gear.
Thunder is booming, the rain starts but then…it starts to snow. SNOW. In August! Isn’t this supposed to be summer?? I guess that’s what we can expect from now on up here at 12000ft.
It is freezing and we hike as fast as we can. We have to stop for water as it’s the last for 12 miles, so now our packs are extra heavy just in time to climb up to 12556ft. Thankfully the snow has moved on, and the climb warms us nicely. Through rock fields, up above the trees. The views are beautiful either side of the ridge, of rolling mountains and valleys. Marmots and pikas yell as we pass, and I see their fluffy forms scampering away to hide in their rocky homes.
It’s ridge walking for a long time, so the first flat spot we find becomes home for the night. The combination of altitude plus cold has flipped all the hunger switches in my brain and I have to eat everything!!! Trail mix, ramen, cookies. Eventually I make some tea to squash the hunger, knowing that at 1am I’ll be severly regretting drinking so much liquid before bed. Eeeps I hope I have enough food left because otherwise day 5 of this stretch is going to be miserable!
Fed and warmish, it’s time to bundle up in everything and sleep.