Day 102: mile 1762.2 to 1781.9, 19.7 miles
Total miles: 1549.7
I woke up looking forward to finally being in the mountains, after a week and a half of being away as we crossed out of Colorado and through the Great Divide Basin. The morning was spent transitioning from the dry desert to the greener mountains, and it’s just like the CDT to not exactly make it a seamless or easy transition. That’s not to say that there weren’t some bright spots along the way, though! More than a few times throughout the morning we’d be walking along the trail, and it would suddenly end. We’d pull the GPS out and discover we’d lost the actual trail a tenth of a mile before, but based on the number of footsteps in the woods making it look like the trail went our way, so did many other hikers before. As we hiked deeper into the woods we also had to deal with blowdowns crossing the trail, and mosquitoes. We later ran into friends who told us they walked a full half mile off trail, crossed a river, and then discovered that the path actually wasn’t the CDT- so we got off relatively easy!
While we were eating lunch, we saw No Day and Five Star walk by and we chatted for awhile. We later passed them at a break, then they passed us while we were getting water, then somehow we got in front of them as they met up with us at a river crossing. It’s the nature of the CDT that you can be trying to hike the same trail as someone else, and still end up taking a different way or temporarily getting off course! We didn’t see any other hikers all day, but we did see a moose napping in a field.
Most of the day was spent in mixed forest, but towards the end of the day we finally got a glimpse of some mountains through the trees. It thought that we may be heading in that direction, but the trail turned west and we started downhill again. As we hiked later the mosquitoes grew thicker, and by the time we were ready to camp there was very little discussion as to how we should set up the tent or where. We just threw it up on ground that looked somewhat flat and jumped in to escape the hungry, blood-thirsty horde of bugs outside.