Continental Divide Trail – Day 120
September 20, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 24.7 / 2225.3
It was another cold morning today and I struggled to get out of my sleeping bag. I finally got around, packed up and on the trail by 7:15am.
The trail started out ascending through the burned forest again. The instance of dead trees across the trail had really diminished since yesterday and there were just a few trees to climb over or walk around this morning.
About 3 miles into the day I left the burned area and back into healthy forest. The trail continued a gradual climb up to Pintler’s Pass. Due to the tree cover, views from the pass were somewhat limited. The trail began a gradual descent toward Johnson Lake.
As I neared the lake I noticed a black bear walking up the trail toward me about 50 yards ahead. We stopped and looked at each other for a few seconds and then he started walking toward me. I yelled “ Hey Bear” and “Stop!, Go away!” a few times and he turned and walked off the trail.
I continued on cautiously looking for the bear in the woods and eventually spotted him running away as I got closer. The trail led straight to Johnson Lake and there was a great view across the lake at the trail intersection.
The trail followed the edge of the lake for awhile before turning and beginning a climb up to Rainbow Pass. It was a gradual climb over the next 2 miles to reach the pass and there was another good view at the top.
The trail continued the ups and downs as it passed Rainbow Lake, Warren Lake, and finally over Cutaway Pass near the end of the day. I reached Cutaway Pass with about 30 minutes of daylight left and descended into the valley looking for water and a place to camp. I crossed a creek and grabbed some water for the night and found a flat spot shortly up the trail to setup my tent for the night.
I setup and crawled inside just as it was getting dark, ready to get some much needed rest for the night.