Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 82 - You ladies are braver than we are

Today, we had a long, beautiful walk around the lakes just South of Grand Lake. This section is notorious for horrendous trail conditions along Lake Granby, on Knight Ridge. Some phrases used to describe it include "blowdown apocalypse" and "you will tear your clothes". Needless to say, it was a long, slow day to Monarch Lake.

As we headed towards Monarch Lake, I could see a rainstorm just a mile in front of us. We, the rain and I, were both walking South, and thankfully, I never caught it. The ground around the lake was saturated with water, so it must have poured just minutes before we arrived.

At Monarch Lake, we ran into a rugged looking quartet of men in camouflage. Everything was camo, including their facepaint and socks. Each was carrying a loaded composite crossbow. As the last one passed, he said "you ladies are braver than we are". Which did make me fear for my physical safety, But in every CDT hike, a little lightning must strike.

We started our climb back up to the Continental Divide, and noticed pockets of groppel (mini snowballs) as we got higher. Fingers crossed, we never get caught in a snowstorm at altitude here.

As the sun set, the clouds were racing in, and we pitched our tent immediately. Within a few minutes of staking out the vestibule, the thunderstorm hit us, and we dove in.

p.s., We found a rusty steam engine on the South shore of Monarch Lake. Don't know what it is, or how it got here.

Mileage: ~25mi from Grand Lake to near Meadow Creek

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