DAY 85 Heading to Steamboat

July 7th

I was up bright and breezy and my tent was fairly dry , not too much condensation on my tent whoop bonus.
I quickly packed up before finishing off my cup of tea. Okay 6.30 let’s see what I can do today. 
I crossed through a meadow and then the trail began to climb yes this is the Cdt, but I thought we were done with climbing.
The trail wasn’t that steep thank god, as I chugged up. I came to my first river crossing but this time I had a substantial bridge thank you trail guys. Then 5 minutes later I crossed back over on a fairly bendy bridge but hey it was a bridge..
As I pushed on the trail became a typical assault course.  So many blowdowns to navigate over or around and if it wasn’t trees then it was water to cross, so a game on trying to keep your feet dry.
The trail now decides  to climb higher and steeper, why I ask  my self as te obstacles keep coming and seem to be harder to navigate around too as in some sort of competition . Grrrt and other words. .
The trail levels for 5 minutes as I exit out from the wood and into a clearing with great views of mountains all around…
Hhhmmmm I thought I had finished with climbing…. apparently  NOT!!
I dropped back into the woods then almost walked into  a herd of moose, at first I thought there were three a female and a large bull.. I called out as not to spook them before filming.
But the closer I got I could see another bull lying down and one of the females had a collar on I presume for tracking.
The big bull didn’t seem bothered with my presence  but I wasn’t brave enough to walk past them. After about 20 minutes I decided to take a large circle around them.  Just then a Israeli couple appeared . Wow moose!.
They followed me until we met back with the trail. I let them go ahead as I knew I couldn’t keep up especially with the big climb in front of us.

But wow once I was up the views of the valley were amazing. and over the saddle the same.
Looking down there seemed to be two trails one heading down and the second that climbed up and over the next saddle.
The second one had to be the cdt and I groaned, before setting off ,but I was wrong. The cdt actually headed down omg really.

Wow what a change. But once again the trail was littered with blowdowns  and stupid me missed a turn and carried on down into the valley before spending another half hour  bushwhacking back to the trail, feeling very angry with myself.
Okay back on trail and the trail  began to meander off into the distance, it was nice to hike on and I began to push. 
I was obviously enjoying myself far too much as the trail now began to climb spiralling ever upwards. This was followed by the loudest clap of thunder that reverberated  through the valley. 
This is the only warning sign you get I stopped and put on my rain jacket and pack cover. Drops of rain began to fall then omg the rain came down in buckets accompanied by hail. I didn’t know that was possible. 
I quickly took shelter as best I could  under a tree and put up my umbrella for more protection 
I was hoping it was only going to be a short session but the thunder kept bellowing and the rain and hail didn’t appear to let up.
After 20 minutes the rain eased enough for me to hike on, the thunder continuing , after about 15- 20 minutes  it returned with vengeance and the trail soon became a river once again , so I took shelter under a tree. 
But I was getting cold, too cold.  Fuck it and this weather. I quickly scanned the area looking for a suitable spot for a tent ,it  will probably be a compromise . I dashed up a small hill, yes this will do, I frantically put up my tent trying not to get it too wet inside…Mission impossible. 
I threw everything in before going to get water.
Once back I inflated my mat andgot out my bag and got in, putting on my puffy at the same time as I was cold. 

Once in I fired up my stove and put on a brew . Oh the warmth of tea…….
After this I must have nodded off as when I awoke it was 4.30 I had slept for 3 hrs..
Well no point in going on now so I lit my stove again for another cuppa.

That’s my day not bad considering 14 miles.

Night all.

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