Snow Lake(232.1)-Dutchman Spring(257.9)
I didn’t get a good night’s sleep because it rained on and off throughout the night. I was awoken by light rain at 11pm, then wind gusts and rain at 1am, and a steady rain at 4am. My alarm went off at 6am and it was still sprinkling. I was happy that I did the extra miles last night so now I could sleep in while it was still raining. I was on trail at 7:40am. The day started off great with low lying clouds as I walked along golden hills and then through T Bar Canyon.
The hiker ahead of me is named Puck and we’ve been following his
footprints the whole time. He started the day before us and hikes in
Chaco sandals. I can tell he’s close and thought I might see him at Snow
Lake last night. Then this morning after the rain, I saw his footprints
leaving dry marks along the trail…so he was somewhere at Snow Lake.
After the canyon, I had a couple hours of walking with one of my
favorite views so far.
It was really cool and I felt like the clouds were lower than usual. I was also feeling a bit nauseous so I checked my elevation, yep highest so far at 8,200ft.
The rest of the day, however, was quite boring and tedious. 80% of the day was walking on either a dirt road or mostly a gravel road. This was my view for most of the day.
Yep, pretty boring, but easy hiking. One hour was spent going cross country and this was my view. A good break in the monotony.
I listened to more of the audiobook of Into Thin Air and some music the second half of the day for entertainment. It is said that the CDT can have some of the most spectacular hiking and scenery, but it also has long stretches of boring road walking to balance it out. My view is that it can’t be awesome all the time and it’s the days that drag that make us really appreciate the great days! Today, I got a big boost from the clouds and I’m thankful to them for many reasons. They provided great scenery. They also kept it shaded and cool for what could have been a very hot day on the roads. I am most thankful that the clouds did not rain on me today!
The big challenge the rest of this section is water. This is one of the driest years in decades, so there is even less water than usual. There tends to be one or two sources possible each day. We all have to carry enough to get us through at least two sources in case they are dry. Many hikers have been posting on our CDT 2013 class page on Facebook about which ones are dry or reliable, so I fortunately have an idea of what to expect. This was my source for tonight. It’s called Dutchman Tank.
Out here a tank is just where water collects and tends to be a big mud puddle that all kinds of animals use. I did indeed drink this water after I filtered it and used Aquamira drops to treat it. Water has been very frustrating out here.
Even though it was a boring day, I really enjoyed the independence of having a day to myself. I know I’ll be spending much of the hike with others, but I like to know I can do it on my own if needed. It’s a real source of pride and motivation when I go out on my own a bit and know I can do this independently.