Miles: 7.5

Camp: My CDT mile 1147.7

Elevation at camp: 11500 feet

It felt nice to sleep in while enjoying the comfort of a whole room to myself. I woke at my usual time, but I laid in bed savoring the feeling for at least an hour before getting up. It was nice to wake up and chat with Louise like old times, but she eventually had to go to work and I had to go to Sharky’s. I ordered french toast and sausage, a meal that I ate all but 2 bites of. I was defeated by breakfast, an extremely rare occurrence. I think part of it was that I ate so much yesterday and didn’t burn any of it off yet. 

After breakfast Louise let me borrow her car to run my errands. Everything went so smoothly with a car and I was soon packed up and ready to hit trail. I didn’t really want to leave, as I was enjoying our visit and the feel of the town in summertime. I wanted to soak more of it up, but I have rest days on the horizon in Grand Lake and Steamboat Springs. 

Louise even let me take her car to the trailhead, which was super cool of her. In hindsight I appreciate this gesture more because time was of the essence today. I had only planned 6-8 miles, but starting at 3:00 I had to get moving. I had chosen to take the high route out of Berthoud Pass as we are about to get into much more flat terrain soon and I was taking LB’s advice to enjoy the last of the high mountains for a while. It was of course, a slower route. The low route is longer, but the high route is more of that old up and down along the divide…on loose rocks to stall progress. I made slow time today, making it to camp at 8:00. Fortunately, miles were not an issue today, so it didn’t matter. I took my time and enjoyed the views along with the steep climbs and all around route finding. It will be strange to be in new terrain soon, but I’m looking forward to it.

Today was also rather symbolic for me. About a year and a half ago, when I first moved to Winter Park (just after the PCT) I arrived at my new job at the resort. This was at a restaurant at 10,220 feet and you had to ride the chairlift to get there. I was admiring the building and views from the dining room when I met Tickled Pink. He had just finished the CDT and pointed out the trail from the dining room. I was immediately moved to hike the CDT and spent many shifts staring at the divide, daydreaming about the day I would stand upon that spot and look back at the restaurant. Well, today I got to do that, and I find that very cool. So much has changed since then, but I’ll never forget seeing the divide that first day and deciding to hike it. 

I hiked pretty late tonight, barely making my miles. The terrain has been sloped and rocky, so I had a heck of a time finding an appropriate place to pitch my tent. I’m on a bit of a slope, but hopefully I don’t slide around too much. There is a cool electrical storm in the distance, like fireworks in a cloud. It’s fun to watch as I lay here. Signing out…

Dinner: half a leftover Italian sub from town.