JUNE 21st 2022
My alarm went off I silenced it, but I could hear movement. At 5 am my alarm went off again and once more I snoozed it and again on the third time I switched it off and pulled the bung on my mattress I love that hiss.
I was slightly chilly as I emerged from my cocoon so quickly put on my puffy and shorts and went for a we. As I opened my tent flaps I was surprised to see at Keebler was entirely packed up. Omg he is keen.
I returned to my tent stuffed my sleeping bag into its compression bag and stowed it, rolled up my mattress and slowly packed up.
Pittsburg packed up at a much more sedate pace but then he’s fast and although Keebler was marching out to the trail . Pittsburg would quickly catch him.
When that was done I made tea whilst putting the last bits into my pack, drank my tea.clipped my cup to my pack and I was done.
See you up the trail I said to Pittsburg as I made my way back to the trail.
The first section followed a jeep track and I seemed to have better speed this morning and was climbing quite well,my feet crunched over the ice reminding my fingers how cold it is.
At the top of the first segment I noticed a path marker which cut a big piece off of the jeep road, I decided to take this route , and straight through a bog but luckily as it was so cold it was all frozen so I could walk across without getting wet feet.
Halfway along I spied Elk, lots and lots of Elk about 40+ Elk. I stopped to capture them on film.
Wow and the noise they were making was awesome. Okay Snail you have got video of Elk, time to do the miles.
I carried on along this path eventually meeting back up with the jeep trail.
As I rejoined I could see Pittsburg towards the bottom of the road he will soon catch me.
Once at the top it was time to go down From the top i could see the jeep trail snaking down the mountain for miles.
Down and down I spiralled, wow this is a long track but the scenery was just wow.
Soon I began to hear weird noises behind me but it was only Pittsburg with his ear buds in singing ..lol
He quickly passed me and I became the chaser
At the bottom was Mirror lake which looked stunning hence its name .I had to cross several small streams before I was able to walk around it but the path soon vanished and you had to use to use rocks (stepping-stones) to keep my feet dry .
Eventually then the path reappeared and I could just see Pittsburg in the distance so headed in that direction.
The dirt track carried on passing another trail head with toilets and beams to tie up horses.
The sun was now out and it was going to be another beautiful day. I pounded down the trail feeling great . Wow that’s a great camp spot and wow that’s a great camp spot, in fact there were numerous places to camp.
Okay its almost 10.30 so will stop for a break shortly. There that’s a perfect spot.
I sat on barrier made to stop skidoo from entering the forest and opened my app to check on the water availability.
Omg Fuck fuck, somehow I had missed a turning and was on a snowmobile track not the trail, I said a few more f*ucks very loudly.
Okay I’m not walking back. .if I carry on it’s a bit like a dog leg and I should be able to get back on trail and use the timberline trail to intercept Perfect okay thats plan A
I felt much happier now so continued down the road. As I walked a buggy came up and a buggy went down ,then a oldish camper van made its way slowly up the rutted road.
In the distance I could see houses (Cabins) and I eventually arrived in ” Tin can” .
As I walked through the town many of the cabins were boarded up, Guess they were just used for the summer .
Okay I need to get to the center of town and the crossroads , at the crossroads turn right that’s simple.
When I got there, the road was being graded by a huge scraper and behind that was a water truck ,I watched for several minutes quite fascinated. before I noticed the local shop.
I dropped my pack outside and went and bought a gatorade.
I sat in the morning sun watching dad’s and their young children fishing in a small pond opposite.
The owner of the shop said we often get hikers in and I can hold their food boxes and do laundry for them.
That’s great I said and I will post that on Facebook.
I sat watching the world go by when the store keeper Gave me another gatorade free for the trail.
I thanked him shoved it into the back of my pack then headed out.
A little way down the road I noticed a lot of something in the trees. When I got closer it was full of old tin cans. I later found out this was the local dump for the mining company that was once there. . I carried on down the road until a car stopped and asked if I needed any help?
I’m trying to get to Cottonwood trail said.
No problem, he open the door and pulled up he seat then opened the trunk. I pushed in my pack then got in
The driver was from Texas but has a cabin here and had rescued many hikers in previous years and so referred to himself as an Angel. His companion was intrigued by this and wanted to know about the CDT etc, when I started,what I carried. It was a really great journey to the “Cottonwood trail.
I thanked the driver and his companion and got out
I thought the driver was going to hug me but instead he laid a hand on my shoulder and said a prayer
I was completely humbled.
I retrieved my pack thanked them both and set off up the trail to get back to my trail.
The path was fairly steep but whoop I’m back on trail.
I’m a bit behind shedule, oh well i will just walk and see what happens.
The trail was actually well maintained enabling me to get a reasonable pace plus it was Flat
I was really enjoying the trail but i was feeling hungry i checked my watch. Yes it was nearing lunch time.
When I came upon a stream, it was the perfect place to stop. I dropped my pack filtered water and ate my lunch.
Okay snail let’s go we need 22 lol
The afternoon was similar to the morning , not too much climbing so was able to push on , the trail meandered in and out of the forest and then began to climb and climb sharply… I began to puff and puff.until at last it leveled and then began to snake down.
It looked like it was skirting an old bog.
As I came out of the trees I was met with another gorgeous lake, I know I gave seen loads but they all look so gorgeous .
The trail followed around until I came to a large metal bridge over the river. Once again it looked just so beautiful with clear sparkly water flowing beneath.
I crossed over and was in two minds to whether to stay here as it just looked so picturesque. I stood there for 5 minutes trying to make ip.my mind. It’s 2 miles to where the official Cdt is so hoisted my pack and marched off down the road. The sun was now extremely hot and I was pleased to have shade .In the distance I could see a man and his dog I watched him stop and snap on the lead. Seems to be customary here.makes sense to me .As we passed we said hi and the dog barked at me.lol
A few more yards and I was at a wide stream. Hmm how am I going to cross that?. I luckily found a large branch across it and with my poles was able to tightrope walk it ,great dry feet. On the other side was another woodland with numerous firepits so decided to stop for another break and got water.
I’m curious about fire pits and what people leave, In the first one I found 5 aluminium tent pegs that i left lined up on a large rock then went back to my pack..
As I sat there a very quite Jeep came down from my right and through the stream I had just crossed. I love a jeep to play with out here i said to myself with a big sigh lol.
Okay Snail, lets find that trail…. I carried on up the road backed by huge mountains, again its just so pretty out here.
The road then stops as its a dead end sot the Jeep deriver must have just driven up and gone back..
Okay im back on trail…..but omg it’s steep.
The trail climbed and climbed with No switchbacks just up the obligatory downed trees to climb over.
I struggled up the trail puffing and panting like an old train and still the trail climbed and climbed.
Omg omg .puff puff. I began to hear running water or rather gushing water and soon I could see a fast flowing creek on my left which i need to cross .Luckily thee was a log so dry feet
I checked my app my target was in 1 mile away and the trail still climbed ,omg Come on I said to no one.
I plodded on and up until at last I could see flat spots perfect perfect. I quickly found a decent spot and then went for water.
I soon had my tent up and tea brewing.
But once again the Mossies were determined to spoil my party.
I gave my legs and arms a good spray but they were just bloody annoying. I managed to cook tea and eat it before giving up and hiding in my tent
But today was a good day