Miles: 7
Camp: CDT mile 707
Elevation at camp: 11400 feet

We all woke up around 7 this morning without having planned to and walked to the diner downtown. I had an omelet and grabbed an espresso on the way back to the hotel. This is the first town we have been to where there is a decent coffee shop, I couldn’t pass it up. As I ordered my coffee I started having the desire to stay in town one more day. I don’t know why, but I struggled to make a decision.

I went and sat off by myself and thought about it. I really had no good reason to zero, and then I would have to hike with new people. It has gone so well with Squirrel and Handstand that I ultimately didn’t want to shake it up. Since I couldn’t find any real good reason to stay, I decided to hike. We were only planning about 6 miles anyway, so it should be an easy day.

Once I had my pack on and we were hitchhiking out of town, I was happy with my choice. I would rather be on trail…I guess it was the lure of the finer things, but there are more towns coming with their own fineries (mostly I mean food).

It took about 20 minutes to get a ride, but a nice guy named Scott stopped to give us a lift. Handstand and I were hitching separate from the others as it is easier to get a ride with less people. Scott even said he had passed up the group of 3, but wasn’t able to fit them all. Lucky us! Scott is also from New England, just here for the summer on an internship. We are thankful for the ride Scott, good luck with the rest of your summer!

After he dropped us off we waited 45 minutes for our friends to show up. They hadn’t been as lucky with getting a ride, but managed to get to trail by noon.

We had all weighed our packs at the hotel as they are the heaviest they will be for the trail. 7 days of food with winter gear and 2 liters of water came out to 44 lbs for me. Not terrible considering that 4.4 is the water and 3.8 is my snowshoes…but still a heavy load. I felt the pack weighing on my hips as we climbed up to the trail. Everyone was struggling a little under the weight of their packs, but we pushed on, if not slowly.

At about 7 miles we decided to stop and set up camp before the storms rolled through. We hope to get in 14 miles tomorrow, but that all depends on snow depth/slush factor and terrain. Tomorrow is a lot of climbing, so we might be slower than we would like, especially with our giant packs. It’s all normal life out here though, much more relaxing in my tent alone listening to rain than in a hotel room with 4 guys. I love the guys, but this is me time.

I have a new book: ‘Anarchists and Old Dogs,’ it is a mystery novel set in Laos. Seems like a solid read for a weeks worth of early camp. This is the one section where I have the luxury of reading for that reason. Once we get past the snow and afternoon storms of Colorado it is hiking until dusk again and I will mostly be too tired to read.

That said, it is time to curl up with dinner and my book.
Dinner: cheddar broccoli pasta with salsa, beef jerky and green beans added.

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Storms a'coming
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