CDT Day 68 CT Day 9

25 miles hiked. Camping at mile 5.3 of Collegiate West CT Alternate/ CDT @ 10896ft
I wake in our tiny campsite and head out first across the rocky sandy top of this climb amd down the other side. I pass a few campers but no one that seems to have a ‘proper’  campsite – we all clearly wanted to get to the top but had no flat places to camp! A giant camping area is 1.6 miles from where we stopped. Bugger.
An hour in I fetch water, filter it, eat some granola and soak my beans so they are ready for lunch. I’m there for about 25 minutes before Grizzly shows up and it turns out I was zooming! I managed over 3.5 miles in that first hour. For me that is epic.
I’m feeling good today, hopefully altitude will be my friend now! 😀
We have one decent climb today followed by a few bumps over 17 miles to twin lakes. We’re making good time, but kill all that progess by taking celebratory stops.
At lunchtime I invent a magic new meal – avocado with refried beans and hot sauce on rice cakes. Yuuuummm! I’m really hungry today and was yesterday too. I hope my giant pizza eating didn’t stretch my stomach.
It’s a toasty day and once we start the steep descent to twin lakes it gets hotter and hotter the lower in altitude we hike. By the time we stumble into the general store around 230pm we are parched and I make quick work of a coconut water.
I buy the worst resupply ever. We even asked on the CT page if there was any decent resupply at twin lakes and apparently we were told lies! All lies! There are 4 shelves total of food. My food for the next section is cliff bars for brekkie, peanut butter for lunch, ramen for dinner and fritos for snacks. Blergh. This right after one of my most bougie resupplies from Frisco. Oh well can’t win them all.
We eat food at the restaurant next door, where I drown myself in lemonade. Lemon power to get me up Hope Pass. We have a 3200ft elevation gain over 3.8 miles. We hike out and bush whack our way across the swampy area in front of the trail. Not the official way, but we aren’t in the mood for superfluous beside-hwy-walking.
We’re back on the trail and it is steeeeeeeep. We climb up up up beside a rushing stream covered with downed logs and filled with rocks and boulders covered in moss. My audiobook barely drowns out my heavy breathing as I climb and start to get a little concerned about where we will camp. There is nothing flat and I wasn’t planning on hiking over the pass tonight.
We pass by Willis Gulch and I send happy healthy healing thoughts to my poor puppy Willis who isn’t doing too well back home. I woke up this morning to some texts from home and the poor little man has been on my mind all day. I’ve often been thinking as I’m hiking this trail about camping adventures I’ll be going on with my dogs when I get home as reward for putting up with me leaving them. Breaks my heart to think of them being unhappy! Hopefully it’s a good sign I’m hiking past something that shares his name!
Hurrah the trail flattens out just for an instant and we find a great flat spot for the tent. We run around trying to outwit the mosquitoes as we set up, then dive into the tent as fast as possible so none follow. A few spoonfuls of peanut butter then a well earned sleepy time. I’ll be dreaming of doggie cuddles tonight.

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