Saturday, September 7, 2013
Day 83 - Gangles gets lapped by an eight year old
Around 9am, we had a pleasant surprise. We ran into a very familiar-looking Nobo section hiker. We chatted for a few, and I realized, it was Giraffe! When Gangles and I finished the PCT last year, we were leapfrogging with Giraffe and his wife Zookeeper. We spent our last night on the PCT camping with them, but haven't seen them since. So exciting to see him again. He looked great, and seemed to be enjoying the trail. He was doing the CO section this summer, and did mention that it had rained on 26 out of the 32 days he had been on the trail. So far, we've been batting 1.000 for rain every day in CO. I think it's going to be a wet stretch.
A few miles later, we ran into a charming trio, father, son and dog named Garrett, TJ and Rocco. TJ is eight, and a very strong hiker. As we were hiking up Devil's Thumb Peak, he caught up with Gangles and said "I'm as fast as this one!" Indeed he was. We were lucky to get our photo taken with this young superstar, and have attached it.
We also ran into another trio out on a day hike. Gangles and I could tell from fifty paces that they had Midwestern charm. Turns out, they are in town for a wedding, but hail from Chicagoland. We totally called it. Major clues included: 1) the man was wearing a Wisconsin t-shirt, 2) they looked so friendly, and 3) the blonde woman was the spitting image of Gangles' mom. Gangles did all she could to not hug this woman and call her 'mom'. Turns out, her son is hiking the PCT right now. His name is Verde (fka "Mister Green"). So nice to meet them all, and good luck to Verde as he finishes the PCT.
The ridgewalk from Devil's Thumb Peak to Rogers Pass was beautiful. Clear views all around, including the afternoon thunderstorms raging all around us. Thankfully, we had blue skies above.
And we could see a ski resort a few miles to the West, with runs carved out of the pines. I checked the GPS, and it turned out to be Breckenridge! This is the only place on the CDT I had visited before this hike. Funny to think about how far apart these experiences are--today, I am a homeless hiking hobo. Six months ago, just 3mi away, I was learning to ski with Gangles and her business school classmates.
We were making great time today, and hit Rogers Pass around 5:45pm. We had just enough time to climb to James Peak, the highest point on the CDT at 13,300'. [Ed. note: If this is not actually the highest point, don't tell Steiner/Ginny, since it will make her cry]. However, as we approached the ascent to James, we noticed the rapidly blackening sky. We decided to play it safe, and pitch our tent low.
The problem with dying in an imbecilic way, is that it makes every smart thing you've ever done even more ironic. Winning my 5th grade spelling bee would have been in vain, so I'm glad we're inside the tent as the rain and wind whips around us. Our Darwin Award will have to wait for later.
Ok, I need to go. Gangles is throwing the cocktail party of the season, featuring summer sausage and cheese cube hors d'oeuvres.
p.s., Mary, I was totally joking about your doppelgänger. Gangles knows who her mom is, and you are awesome!
Mileage: 17mi from near Meadow Lake to Rogers Pass