Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 92 - Matriculating

Today, we left Twin Lakes, sadly. The weather is supposed to be questionable through tomorrow morning, with possible thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight. Even so, this morning seemed different from other mornings in CO, a little drier, a little sunnier. I was feeling optimistic.

We headed straight South from the General Store, on an old dirt road which was slowly melting back into the marsh. This is the most direct route back to the trail, and the most common, though not the official CDT. This is because it winds through a long marsh and several river crossings. At the worst point, we were thigh deep in ice cold water, battling a strong current. The coldness took my breath away, and I was relieved when we made it across. We rejoined the CDT / CT shortly and began the first of the many epic climbs on this stretch: up 3,000' to Hope Pass.

I am relieved to have trail back underfoot, though I know urban girl Gangles misses the relatively level and direct roadwalks. Some Northbounders have described this section as a highlight of the trail, and it is living up to the hype.

This section is lovely but challenging. At the end of the day, we were indeed hit by rain and hail. Soaked, but undeterred, we decided to make the push past Lake Ann, and up to the pass. This means another 2,000' climb, for a total of at least 5,500' today.

We crested the pass just as the sun was setting, so ran down. I found a sloped but passable site for the night. We're sliding towards the foot of the tent, but at least it stopped raining. Fingers crossed for a drier day tomorrow.

Mileage: 19mi from Twin Lakes to just past Lake Ann Pass

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