Continental Divide Trail – Day 34
June 4, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 25.0 / 675.5
I slept great on my repaired sleeping pad last night. The temperature was 40 degrees this morning, but a heavy dew had covered everything and it felt much colder.
I packed up and refilled my water bottles before leaving camp. The trail started with a gradual up toward a nearby pass. There were several switchbacks and I was able to capture a picture of Slytherin coming up behind me.
There was a public campground about 8 miles from camp and I had planned to drop off my trash there. However there was a sign saying the area was closed for tree removal and hikers were rerouted around the park on roads.
Back on trail after the campground it was back on two track coming up through a valley. Due to all the snowmelt the trail was very wet and muddy. A local man out with his 2 dogs came up behind me and we walked and talked for about the next 2 miles. He was real familiar with the trails and said in 30 years of hiking here he had never seen snow in the ground this late in the season.
As we walked it began to rain and we donned our rain gear and continued walking. He was doing a loop hike and our trails soon went opposite directions, but he gave me great insight on what to expect ahead.
Shortly after splitting up it began to hail and then turned to rain. It rained for about an hour and I continued to walk through the wet, muddy trail. The trail dropped into a long valley and once again I was walking through the wet marshy bottom and flooded trails. I did get a chance to see a couple of elk and an antelope during the rain. It didn’t look like they minded the rain at all.
I finally found a large rock amongst a fairly dry area and sat down to eat my lunch. Soon I saw a figure walking up the valley and it was Slytherin. We talked about the rain and then noticed Professor walking up the valley as well.
We talked for a few minutes and then began walking up the valley and noticed a marmot hopping around on the rocks. The first marmot I’ve seen on this trip.
I continued down the valley while Professor and Slytherin stopped to eat something. At the mouth of the valley, the trail turned sharply and started climbing a ridge line to the top of the valley. The trail followed the edge of the valley for a couple of miles and offered some tremendous views.
Crossing over the ridge the trail dropped back down to a creek where I was able to get some water for the evening. I had planned to go another couple of miles, but I saw another thunderstorm building and could hear the thunder so I found a spot close by and set up for the night.
It did rain for a few minutes but it wasn’t long, but I was already in my tent eating my dinner when it came through. Nice and dry and ready to call it a night.