Monday, September 2, 2013
Day 75 - Lost Ranger peak
Beautiful views today, walking along the ridges, with views for miles. Trail was mostly well marked, still as the 'Wyoming Trail 1101'. In a few spots, some enterprising CDTer wrote in the trail name with a ballpoint pen. Whatever works.
Near the end of the day, we approached and passed Buffalo Pass. Today is the Friday before Labor Day, so we were seeing a ton of traffic. Saw a photogenic couple on horseback accompanied by a blue heeler (Australian Cattle Dog, which they call 'heelers' out here) and a long haired dachshund, out for the weekend. Both people were platonic ideals of Westerners. The woman paired jeans, tank top, long hair with a vintage pearl-handled revolver in a delicately tooled leather holster. The man had a jawline that could etch steel, sunglasses and a pristine Stetson. He was cradling a handle of whiskey.
They called out to us, and asked what we were doing. I sheepishly explained we were walking between Canada and Mexico. It sounds ridiculous to say it aloud. They were in disbelief, and their first reaction: take some whiskey! I politely demurred, but they insisted we take something, so we walked away with a cold Coors.
We next ran into a posse of bros out for a fishing weekend. They were leading four llamas on leash. Apparently, the llamas were all doing great, except '#3'. #3 was possibly the most critical llama, since he was the booze llama, loaded down with a full keg. The llamas can carry up to 150 lb. each, but that is at the very upper end. The booze llama kept lying down, so I could only assume that he was probably overloaded with beer. I asked what the llamas ate, and the guys admitted they had no idea. They had rented the llamas for the weekend, and were only instructed to give them water. I think the bros were in a little over their heads with llama care, but hope they all have a great weekend.
The final group of note before we hit the pass was a trio, an older man, a teenager and a ten year old boy. Each was carrying a loaded composite crossbow. The hunting season doesn't begin until tomorrow, so they were a little too ready. In addition to loaded composite crossbows, each of them had a huge backpack, so they were staggering slowly up the hill. They were moving so slowly that when I first saw them, I couldn't tell if they were coming towards us, or moving away, just that they were staggering slowly. I wanted to give them all of my Neosporin for any potential hunting accidents.
The last few miles of the day past Buffalo Pass was a an easy stroll towards a series of small lakes. Eerie to see so many people approaching the pass, and no one South of the pass. All the good fishing must be North.
We did run into Steve, so camped with him for the night. Tomorrow, Steamboat.
Mileage: 25mi from near Three Island Lake to near Lake Elmo