CDT Day 105: the heart of the matter

Day 105: mile 1809.8 to 1827.3, 17.5 miles

Total miles: 1598.1

It rained hard overnight, and lightening lit up the sky a few times. The wind picked-up, and I woke up in just enough time to close the rain fly on my side before my side got soaked. The rain overnight made for a wet and cool morning, and just walking through the grass a few minutes made us look like we’d passed through a creek.

The cool and damp morning kept the bugs out longer, and the sun stayed blanketed by the clouds for most of the day. We stomped through lots of water, and hoped the sun would make an appearance eventually. At lunch it finally popped out, and while our shoes didn’t dry this time, at least our tent did.

After lunch we climbed up to Hat Pass. I was a little nervous for the climb, as uphills have been becoming increasingly difficult for me, but this one went well. I moved slowly, but the pass was beautiful and we passed through the most vibrant display of wildflowers along the way. The flowers in the Winds have been the most incredible display I’ve ever seen, and that’s after Colorado where I thought I’d seen quite the show!

At the top of the pass it started to rain, so we quickly started down and got into the trees. We found a little spot where we could be covered from the weather, and took a snack break protected from the elements. Eventually though, we needed to continue on and headed towards the next challenge of the day, three quick ups and downs. The first went well, but the second seemed more arduous than it should be. I double checked to make sure we were still on the trail, and fortunately-unfortunately we were.

During the climb I debated if I really should continue past Pinedale, our next planed stop the following day. I’d hoped to make it to Yellowstone National Park about 200 miles up the trail, but I started to wonder what did it really matter to advance further. Pinedale was a logical place to get off the trail, and I’ve been preparing myself emotionally for a couple of weeks. Tears came to my eyes thinking about leaving, but I suppressed them to finish our hiking for the day and just be present in the mountains to enjoy my last day on the CDT for now if that’s how things turned out.

The last climb went better than the middle, and afterwards we started looking for a camp spot. We were surrounded my mountains and lakes, and we set up camp on a grassy patch of land. We knew we’d be covered in dew the ext morning, but we were going into town the next day and it was such a beautiful spot we didn’t care. We set-up camp and crawled into our tent, enjoying the views from the open fly of our tent. It was a peaceful evening, and I slept easy despite not knowing what would happen the next day. Despite all of our planning, we never really know what’s going to happen tomorrow, anyway!