DAY 90 Bogs, Butterflies and bullshit

 JULY 12 TH

It was a great sunset last night and a great sunrise. I really  didn’t want to get up as I  was so comfy  in my bag. I eventually pulled the stopper on my mattress. 

And started the task  of getting up . It was a beautiful morning.  I made tea and ate 2 instant oats
Okay lets go. I quickly found the trail  and pushed on heading down and straight into a bog. Really!!
I tried to keep my feet dry as long as I could but then gave up.
I was in bog land for at least  40 minutes, although not the same bog different ones. Arrrrrhhhh. 
On the AT there would be duck boards, I moaned .
I was in the forest for a good  90 minutes  before emerging into day light and a big dead area. I pushed on as it was beginning to warm up.. But I was still heading down . But it was time to do the blow downs  dance and there were quite a few.

Eventually I climbed up and out of bog city and pushed on down the trail and through the next forest, but I was still heading down….I don’t like heading down for too long as it only means one thing… yes  UP.
Then I met a group of people coming  up the trail, i had to do a double take to realise that they were a trail crew with their saws and gear.

I chatted to them for 5 minutes before thanking them. These men & woman are the invisible hero’s who keep the trail clear, some are volunteers and they have walked several miles up trail carrying their gear.  No chainsaws . Just manual.
I eventually came to water so filled up and took a break, It was about another’s  20  minutes to the trail head where their cars were parked.
The trail followed the service road and as I walked along there were dozens of butterflies taking a drink from the damp road.
I pushed on as it was good to walk on passing a couple with their dog and then walked straight past the  trail junction. Doh .
But luckily not far, so turned around and I followed up the side of the hill . Bloody hell its getting hot  my watch said 89 and it was still early.
The trail meandered  through the woods before  dropping down to the road. I had to follow this hot and dusty road. for several miles. It crossed the river by a large bridge and below was a man fishing
Any luck I called. 
He shrugged his shoulders.
I crossed over the bridge then walked down to get water

I poured a bottle over my head as I was  roasting , before filtering 2 bottles. 
I pushed on through the park following the  badges on the trees passing several large campsites until the trail took a sharp right  and climbed up and over several hills.
I met several day hikers on their way  back.

DAY 89 Wandering in the wilderness

July 11th 2022

I was up early and witnessed a great sunrise. I packed up and was just drinking my tea when a lady hiker came past .

Good morning.
I finished up and set off down the trail it was going to be a great day. The trail was fairly clutter free enabling me to get a reasonable pace and it was heading down always helps.
I shortly arrived at the trail head and campsite. The female hiker was just using the Privy. Well one never misses a privilege so I also used. 

The trail Imeaditly began to climb maybe I am going over the mountains I saw earlier. Mmmm
The trail crossed the road and headed up ( I didn’t know at the time  but it was going to be a climbing  day.)
The trail climbed then meandered a bit then dropped down and then did it all again. 
Mm I won’t get my mileage I  if its like this I said to my self.
Once again the trail  headed down then changed its mind and headed up again  this time I got to see some amazing views of the valley. 
I pushed on up coming to several large snow clumps. I climbed over them and then some more and omg some more. I thought I was done with snow.  Obviously  NOT!!.

Aa I made my way over yet more more I began to meet several hikers coming the other way
Two were finishing off bits of the Cdt. 
I pushed on looking for water but there wasn’t any for a while so I patiently  got water from a snow melt. Not perfect but I was thirsty.  I added bleach waited then flavoured it before drinking.
Okay time to move , around the  next corner  the whole landscape changed it was fairly baron looking with lots of snow to cross.

I pushed on making good progress but then the trail became difficult to follow. Arrhhhh.
Eventually I found it and once again  it was up and down and up and down . The sun was now getting hotter as I approached yet another climb. I think I need a break and was just pondering when gourmet appeared and thought the same so we sat in the shade and had lunch. Several other hikers passed by as we relaxed.
Gourmet  had gone tubing in Steamboat springs and was slightly red!!!
We chatted  for a while but it was soon time to hike some more.
See you at the top snail. I laughed 
I packed up and set off after him omg he was already at the top he is just so fast or rather I’m just so slow.
Once up the trail did its normal meander then vanished.  

But I quickly found . It Once again dropped down into the valley  and then imeaditly climbed up  the other side. 
Except as I began the next climb I found myself in a bog.
Now on the Appalachian  trail we would have duck boards come on cdt lol
Once up I crossed several meadows again with the added fun of more bogs. Then I lost the trail again…. it has to be me… and I have  a great sense of direction. I soon found it  but it went up another mountain. 
It was mainly scree but it had a path through it. Once up I was on a very large plain and in the distance cairns.
I set off towards it then the next one and the next before dropping down the valley  towards a lake. But I could see the trail snake away to my right.. and of course up.  

Once at the top of course it went down but this time through several snow fields, I trudged through the first two then walked around the third. But then decided to take a break, whilst here I grabbed water from the melt. Okay back to the climbing 
Can’t we have some flat I shouted to no-one. 
Seems not…I climbed and climbed …whoop some down. As I began to head down something caught my eye, It was a long horned goat standing high on a rock. I wasn’t sure if it was a tree  at first but it did move its head.
Okay down time was moving on and with all the climbs I wasn’t going to make my target as I was so tired. And typically the down was very very long and steep and cluttered. It did level out for a while as i walked through loads of small dead trees they reminded me of  Triffids…
Now the trail continued down but steep and cluttered, I passed several good spots for camping but was determined to get to at least 5.30.  Once at the bottom I was greeted with more bogs… Really!!!.
I manged to navigate around these keeping my feet dry, but then it was more snow to climb over. Which again is tiresome especially towards the end of the day. The trail now headed left, nearby was a small spinney. That looks ideal and it was now 5.30. That will do me.

And it was mossie  free. Well until I dropped my pack then it became alive. Arrrrrhhhh. And such a beautiful evening too.

But the mossies say no. So tent up and hide.

Mileage 16 (target 17,)

DAY 88 leaving Steamboat

JULY 10TH

I slept really well but then with the price of the bed I should lol. I put on the coffee machine much better with real milk.
I switched on the tv to catch the news and relaxed as I was in no hurry. Around 8ish I stuck a meal into the microwave. I had planned on eating both last night but then decided I had eaten enough so ill have it for breakfast with another coffee followed  by two yoghurts and an orange .
Okay I still had stuff to go into my pack although it was full, I pulled  it all  out and started again, that’s better.
Although there were still a few bits, its no good I’m going to have to leave them .
I did one last round of the room and yes I’m ready but it’s only 9 so I’ll make the most of the room, one more coffee, i finished off the sprite then later I finished off the milk. Okay now I’m ready.
I hoisted up my pack  and left the room, handed  in my key changed my coins into notes and said  goodbye.
It was pricey but I enjoyed my stay and the front desk always knew my name and couldn’t do enough for me.
I walked across  the road and took up my hitching position, further up the road I could see two other hikers let’s see who gets a ride first……I lost lol
My driver had 7 dogs in the car all husky’s, mum, dad and 5 babies (16 weeks). He also has 14 more in Alaska as he does mushing sled teams. I was quite impressed. He dropped me at the trail head which was perfect . I thanked  him and set off up the trail . It was now 11am  so we will not do a great deal today.

The trail quickly turned into a skidoo trail but thankfully this one was flat not rutted like others. It headed up but on a much gentler  tract Then it became road I guessed this was the old main road.
Half way up I stopped and looked around  and behind me was Rabbit Ears, It’s a rock formation  high on the hill and is very famous, from my angle it doesn’t really look like ears but from other angles it does.
I followed the road up and eventually it came to another trail head and campsite. The trail now became a trail  for a few yards before become a dirt toad for the campsite. The campsite was lush , nice pitches with a picnic benches  

Most appeared rented out.as people sat and relaxed in the morning sunshine , the campsite also had several beautiful looking lakes.  The trail became a trail again and headed away from the campsite. I met numerous people waking and most were chatty like me lol. Well I enjoy meeting people. 
I pushed on as it was beginning to get warm, crossing over a do not use this bridge and carried on up the trail. 

The trail was a gentle roller coaster and I had a great pace. Although I was still stopping to chat to people. I met a southbound  hikers. I’m guessing he was flipflopping  Or finishing off a section. He gave me some great advice about Wyoming. 
I pushed on until I came to a cross roads.  I was just checking my app when another hiker caught me. He was from the Chez Republic.  I let him pass as my foot was hurting today around my ankle and as this part of the trail was badly cut up it was making my foot worse.
I kept him in sight as I followed  him, eventually  arriving at yet another trail head. As I headed down once again I passed about a dozen people going the other way, many had fishing rods.
It was almost 2 pm so when I spotted a huge log, I decided to break for lunch, as I sat there still more people passed by
Then another hiker passed, we chatted for a few minutes before he headed off. He was soon followed by a girl out on her bike.
Okay snail let’s go, the trail headed down with the added fun of log jumping
I was eventually at the bottom. Hmm where does the trail  go,?
I Soon came to lake 1, I tried to film but the mossies were having none of that so I fled, the next lake wasn’t so bad , I took  5 mins.

Then I spotted a couple with their dog coming down from the other side. Once again we chatted for a while before heading on in opposite directions. There were a few climbs then flat, sounds perfect. But I take what I’m told with a pinch of salt. 
Further along the trail my boxers and shorts seemed to gave a disagreement so at the next water I dropped my pack to sort the issue.  Done
I grabbed a 1 litre as the next was in 5 miles and if I stopped before at least I could make a cuppa.
The trail was fairly level and I was feeling great, thank god as the last few days I have had no energy or stamina at all. 
Wow  its 5.30  come on snail  let’s try to get to at least 6.30, I pushed on  as thunder echoed nearby, great that’s all I need luckily the rain held off. 
Wate, fantastic I filled another litre now I just need a flat spot .

EXCEPT… there were none so 6.30 came and went , it was just after 7 when I said fuck it the tents going up…..
I passed several tents and men wearing their bug nets. I think its going to be a compromise!!!.
But then yes I can get my tent in there. But OMG It was buggy (Mossies) I threw up my tent, checked myself and my pack for mossies then got inside dragging in my pack I soon had tea on and my tent organised

Mileage 15 not at all shabby 

Day 87 Zero in steamboat

July 9th 2022

It’s a zero but I was up early as chores still need to be done. But first breakfast, they give you 50 % off so why not try.
I had the cracker barrel that was half a waffle , bacon, sausage scrambled egg and fried potatoes
It was tasty but the waiter I had was not brilliant.

Okay to town….. I walked to where the bus stops.
There were two hot air balloons just taking off I looked around to see if there were others. But only the two
I  didn’t have to wait long for the bus, it starts locally and winds it’s way around the ski area under the gondolas before heading out of town but into downtown.
This is where all the shops and bars are. I got off and went to look for a barbers as I was looking a little like a scarecrow .
I found it, it’s walk in, you have to put your name on a list and wait for your name to be called. There were about 6 people waiting but the wait was about 10 minutes so it wasn’t long until I was in the chair .
The lady did a great job and tidied up my beard  thank god. Okay next is the Post office, it was at the other end but not far.
I soon found it and walked in walked in and to the counter, handing over my driving licence. 
To my surprise  all 3 of my boxes were here as I had ,had automated messages  saying they were being returned to sender.
So I re- bounced  them up the trail. I was just finishing up when Monk appeared  he was  posting a supply box then he was heading back.
Okay next the market as I’ve heard good things about Quiche that’s sold from one of the stalls. But sadly when I got there they were sold out. But a T-shirt caught my eye so went back and brought it, followed by a large fresh  lemonade.
I sat under a tree in the park as my watch said it was 97 and it felt  it.

Okay I need to resupply then laundry… but as I walked  to the bus stop I passed  by an ice cream shop and walked out with a tub of huckleberry  ice-cream  oh it was so good . OK bus…. I got on and began chatting to a lady from Chicago. 
Then Monk got on  trying  to get out of town. I was supposed to get off at the Walmart stop but I missed it so stayed on the bus to go around again. Okay this time I will get off.
I went to the grocery shop instead. I didn’t need much but still bought too much but that included lunch and dinner too.
I caught the bus back  and went straight to my room, then to reception to get change and soap powder. Okay laundry is in .

Lunch time, I brought salad some ham , potato salad  and had a leisurely lunch washed down with sprite. 
Okay next to decant my purchases .mm I have too much food. See if I can carry it.
Okay washing is drying ,so now I can relax. 

Back to the trail tomorrow and heading to Wyoming whoop whoop 
So more lemonade and trash TV 

Night all

Mileage  Zero

DAY 86 Still heading to Steamboat

July 8th 2022

I  woke up early and refreshed , determined to to make amends for a poor day yesterday… I pushed off and began a small climb but that soon levelled out . I passed the remains of a carcass of some big beast then a few more yards was the skull, interesting .
When I came out of the woods  I was greeted with my first amazing views .Wow.

I imeaditly dropped back into the forest and began the usual chore of log jumping, but I seem low on energy due to my stomach issues.. but I kept pushing it was early and already in the high 80s . Phew once again I came to a clearing  and again amazing views. But I need to get back to my log jumping…. but  omg the trail guys had been in and  the amount of blowdowns was horrendous and they had cleared the lot .amazing thank you so much trail guys. 
The mossies  now decided they were hungry and I was lunch. 

I was recommended to use a spray with picaridin in but the moment I spray myself with this they can’t wait to land on me and feast and  so I’m convinced the Colorado mossies love the dam stuff so switching back to deet for the next section.
The trail was really well-marked and maintained ha ha spoke too soon its now vanished.
Okay got you, I pushed on bumping into a couple from Seattle who were hiking  from Steamboat to Twin lakes.
Nice section. I wished them well. 
I pushed on  up the trail, the trail now began to dropdown into  a skidoo  track , which was no fun at all as  it was cratered and full of rocks and so difficult to walk in so where ever possible I waked on the ridge.

OK snail water we need water. The app says in 1 miles great.

And  not to disappoint there it was. I grabbed 2 liters and double filtered.( MORE cautious  since becoming ill)

I also took a longish  break and ate a few snacks. Okay lets go..
I continued  down  the trail which was hard work before turning off. Great I thought  but this trail also allows motor bikes and so new obstacles of huge puddles and deep ruts but it is what it is.
The trail now entered another large burn area  and even though  it was a few years ago the acrid smell of ash hung in the air, as I hiked along I was joined by a creek ,I  found the sound of it bubbling along quite therapeutic.
I followed this for several hours before the trail split off and climbed to the right.
It started gently but it wasn’t to last and with the temperatures rising I began to melt and soon needed a another break. 
At the perfect log I dropped my pack and chilled . God its so hot…
Okay snail lets go , I was still pushing trying to crack miles and get into steamboat .
Of course the trail began climbing ever steeper and was like a motor cross track and so once again I walked on the top where possible. I was still in the burn  but was  amazed at how dwarf lupins had began to populate the area in a carpet of blue.

As I pushed on I began to hear the sound of motor bikes that grew progressively louder until the bikers came into view.1,2,3  I stood off trail as they flew by, but kept watching so I could see where the trail went. I was just about to resume walking when a fourth biker appeared and vanished leaving a trace of burnt fuel in the air .
I think it’s now safe lol and  resumed but  the trail now resembled a tank training track so walking over it was a nightmare and of course it was up, hot and in a burn area so no shade.
I began to struggle, slurping more water. struggling up the numerous hills , come on trail, down or level please because of the heat I was drinking a lot of water and so will need more soon.
Great the trail is now heading down but of course steep and because of the ruts it was a nightmare to walk down, but there is water I can see water.
At last, I dropped my pack filled and filtered  2 litres . One I  downed imeaditly, wow I was thirsty. 
Okay lets go, the next section was a roller coaster  up and down, I was quite impressed on how the bikes get up these hills as i was struggling but I haven’t an engine lol
In the distance I could see a road but typically the trail goes in the opposite  direction although my app says that I am getting close to the trail head. 
At last I was heading down and could hear the sound of traffic. I  was getting closer and closer and at just I emerged out onto the trail head. Now this bit is a bit hazy……But I went to sit on a rock to take 5  
The kind lady said that I staggered to the rock, went to sit down but missed and fell on the floor and didn’t get  up So she took me to urgent care in Steamboat.

I think with the stomach issues ,pushing too hard and being dehydrated was all too much.
The Drs/ Nurses there were really great . The main Doctor  looked at the meds that I brought  from the UK and said ” Well they aren’t any use”
Well that’s bloody useful no wonder I’ve been so poorly. 
So she prescribed the correct meds plus an extra box just in case and other meds to fix me.

So a little pricy but we’ll worth it as these issues were making my hike a misery .So fingers crossed. 
Okay I now need a bed and  Steamboat is very very expensive.
I found a hotel, far more than I wanted to pay, but it’s done.
Okay quick shop for some lemonade and some yoghurt(Dr recommends)
I flagged down the free bus and set off for my hotel.
I checked in, dropped my gear, got a bucket of ice and poured a large lemonade (NO beer for 7 DAYS !!!! )
Okay shower time and wow its a great shower with good pressure and HOT water .
Okay R&R time.
I feel a lot better after speaking to the Dr and getting the correct meds.
So night all 

Mileage  17

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.

DAY 84 Leaving Grand Lake

July 6th.

The alarm went off at 7am I snoozed it and kept snoozing until 7.45.I slid out of bed put on the coffee and then went for a shower. 
Omg hot water and with pressure. Heaven…. I let the spray wake me up, Oh that’s a good shower.
I grabbed some towels and dried as I walked back into the main room. The coffee was good but I hate the creamer. Okay next hotel I’m going to buy milk. I drank my coffee whilst watching  breakfast tv and packing up.
Okay I’m going to order some gloves. I phoned  the shop and spoke to a lovely lady who was determined to help me  😀
Okay she’s found the product.☆
They are on sale ☆
Send to the postoffice ☆
Okay credit card ☆
This is where it normally fails
What’s is the Billing address!!!!
Big breath fingers crossed
No 5 ……..
Yes that’s all gone through☆

OMG Amazed. Lol, Thank you so much…
5 minutes later I get the confirmation  email.. It’s all good except the price has  gone up  but  I just want these  dam gloves.
Okay I finish packing up. 1 beer left in the fridge so it’s coming with me.  I am not taking the crisps (chips).
Okay 9.30 let’s get out if here. 
I hoist my pack fuck your heavy. Why are you so heavy. Maybe too much food. 
Oh well I passed reception and dropped in my key. The  Big Horn  hotel. Room clean. Bed bloody comfy. 
Shower amazing. Near to shops bars and post office☆☆☆☆☆ 
cost ☆☆! 
But I could have  gone elsewhere. 
I walked through the town. It was still bustling but nowhere as as on the 4th July. I passed  several restaurants and the breakfast  smells almost made me drop my pack .
Will power snail lol.
Then I was slightly disappointed for not exploring the town funny.
At the end of the main drag the road and trail turns sharp  left and continue  up a smallish hill.
Dam I will have to come back again.
As I began to climb I noticed a house decked out with some major flags. In the back yard is an old man practicing his golf swing  and sending clumps of earth over the trail. 
When he sees me he stops and come over for a chat.
I complain that there is no union- Jack or St George flag.
We laugh but I need to go
I carry on up and cross  the main road, In front and to the right is the Hostel  far far cheaper than what I payed. But I wanted rest and relaxation, to watch crap on TV and just be me.
I carried on going the trail now marked with Cdt emblems. A jogger came past I wished her well then just in front was a grazing deer not bothered about  me at all. 

The trail now splits  and I am going to do alternate. As I pushed on I was bring attacked by legions of mossies ,bastard things.  Arrrrrhhhh.  The trail was very well maintained with perfect steps and run offs. I was following the river and in places the roar was deafening. I pushed on  impressed with the trail. I was soon in a burn area  and even though it was possibly  a while ago the smell of Ash was still in the air. 
As I continued on  I could see people ahead, eventually  passing a family:

The Mother Said CDT. 
Yes a Brit from Oxford I said or rather another mad person.
She laughed, I do bits she said but you won’t catch me doing all of it.
I replied if all the trail was as good to  hike on as this then you would  smash it 
We both laughed and I headed on my way.
Several minutes later the jogger passed me returning from her run.
Soon I came to some green fencing across in the trail. 

With warnings not to proceed as it was dangerous ( Fire Damage)
So I walked around  it and carried on. (I have been scared so much in the snow this should not worry me ,)
I pushed on for two hours before I needed a break. (I am still not feeling 100% ) I glugged a pint of  water and ate a few snacks.
I could possible sit here all day until one of the voices in my head shouted MILES.
OKAY  I grabbed my pack and set off  back down the trail.  In the distance I saw a flash of pink , it was moving. Okay it a jogger who is also ignoring the closure sign. 
I stood off trail  as got closer, Thank you  she said as she whizzed by..
This next bit of trail  was badly damaged by fire and the trees that had been installed had been badly damaged by the fire. .

I kept pushing as the trail appeared level or maybe  a small incline. Then I could see a horse coming towards me no its llamas .
I stood off trail as a forest ranger came passed leading three llama.  All loaded up wow.  Then the female ranger asked “Where is your permit ?
I looked at her Blankly
CDT hiker  ? She asked
Oh yes I  am .
Okay then your good. Enjoy your hike.
I watched them go.
I’m guessing that Llamas are carrying gear for trail maintenance .
As soon as they were out of sight a couple of hikers also came by heading south. I wished them well and stay safe.
I pushed on down the trail until i came to large trail junction .
It was a little  confusing but I selected the right route.
Once again it was fairly flat  until it  began to head down  .I was still in the burn area after almost 3 hours .God must have been a huge fire.
Then the trail  became very well maintained, it looked like they have been concentrating on this area to repair the fire damaged trail . Oh a bridge, looks as if it was made on trail, then another one and then two more. . Wow

No bridge’s and then four together lol. It made me smile. The trail now headed down sharply and I could see cars driving by.
Great I’m almost at the road . I emerged onto the trailhead but it had barriers across to stop cars from parking.  Then I noticed a drop toilet to my right. Perfect. 
I walked over to it dropped my pack but as soon as I came out the heavens opened.
Luckily the drop toilets have a decent porch.so I sat down ate my apple and watched the rain fall. after 10 minutes it began to ease and the sun was trying to shine again.
To my left I could see another hiker with his pack cover on marching down the road.. I waved and thought he may come over, but he carried on going as I saw him vanish down the road on my right.
Okay lets go snail. I slung up my pack and headed down the road. 
I was almost at the next parking point, when a lady pulled over and asked if she could take my photo.
As I’m not in any hurry I agreed.
She parked her car then got out an enormous tripod. She took about 10 minutes setting it up before she was read to take  my picture..  I will  wait to see if she forwards them to me
#FAMOUS
#cdt2022  lol
I carried on going down the road until I was at the part where the CDT  crosses over the road..as I continued down the  dirt track mountain Goat and 5 course appeared hey good to  see you both.
I let them go ahead of me no way am I chasing. 
As the boys made there way, I noticed a moose standing in the field the boys were crossing. 

It seemed to be a youngish female and didn’t look at all fazed by two hikers walking  through her meadow.
I followed and the moose looked at me before deciding that I was no threat.
I should have watched where the boys went, as I shortly arrived at a largish river. I looked up stream but no way to cross  with out wet feet. So splash splosh  I was across only to notice a bridge on my right. Bollocks oh well.
I pushed on up the trail to the accompanying sound of thunder Mmm think I’m going to get wet. 
I should have got water!! Next water in 2.2 miles
Oh that’s not too bad I thought.
Then the rain started. I dropped my pack and slipped on my pack cover, then my rain coat. 
It was good timing as whoosh down cane the rain. I sheltered under several large trees until the  rain began to ease. 
Water, I need water. I debated getting it from the numerous  puddles that had now appeared but thought better of it. 
I hiked on in the rain climbing numerous blowdowns and there were lots. 
Oh great, a stream crossed the trail , that’s perfect for me.
I filled up both bottle’s , slung up my pack , Omg that’s heavy. 
I marched on up the trail until I saw several flat spots and began to ponder. It was the bloody mossies who persuaded me to carry on . The rain was now just spitting as I pushed on down  the trail. Why are the mossies out in such numbers, the rain should make them go-away!! After  almost an hour I spotted the perfect spot
I dropped my pack and quickly got my tent up.

I would have liked to have sat outside and drank my cuppa but once again the mossies say NO!! LOL
Once my tent is up I sling every thing inside and quickly close up the door to stop any buzzy things getting in.
I just chilling on my bed when I see mountain goat walk by.
He stopped and put up his tent on the last downpour
Stay safe out there I say and then he’s gone. 
I quickly make my tea and then I can relax. 

Night all

Mileages  17 miles great

DAY 83 ZERO Grand Lake

July 5th 2022

Another great sleep, guess I needed it. Okay no hurry today. Okay I had an email from Sealskinz they have contacted FedEx and hopefully should get delivered  “Soon”
But that’s not helpful, so I give FedEx a call. The assistant wants to be helpful, but their only option is to post it backwards not forwards. Which is not helpful. I was hoping they could bounce forward but no not an option.
So reluctantly I ask them to cancel the order. Then emailed the supplier and advised them  too.
Okay that’s wasted a lot of the morning. Next task fuel I wandered up town and found the outdoors store. In side I was amazed to find, Erica and frenza who I haven’t  seen them for ages. 
I grabbed fuel a new bum bag as mine was falling apart and two mountain house meals for the next section.
Okay next was the post office to  send my micro spikes up trail. It wasn’t that far. All done. Now for a food shop.
Which again was near to the post office, when I arrived once again there were a few friendly faces sat outside. 
I whizzed around grabbed a frozen meal for dinner. and a few bits to resupply and a 6 pack. 
I headed back and sorted through my food, then I ate lunch a yoghurt 2 fruit jellies and a big glug of lemonade.
Okay to time to chill.
I then managed to facetime my friends,  2 families are in Cyprus and Andy back in the UK.
It was so good to catch up. Okay beer time 
Then big emergency warning flashed up on the TV about flash Floods in the area…  then the rain came omg 
So glad I booked a second night.
Okay veg time tv, chips and beer .
Night all heading to steamboat Springs in the morning ?

DAY 82 Grand Lake

July 4th

Well that was a great sleep. I slowly got up. ( NO coffee Here),But I had a large slice of pizza left  that was really good even cold.
Okay quick bit of phoning but as its July the 4th  it was pointless.
But I did book a hotel just in case. Bit pricy but it’s Grand lake and July the 4th. Okay lets get out of here .
I finished packing and hoisted up my pack.  I walked out and handed over my key.
Okay lets see  what the day brings. I marched off down the road taking  a shortcut through the gas station and onto the main road that goes to Grand lake. I began walking up the hard shoulder  looking for a suitable spot to stand.
I then noticed an ambulance sat on the side road. I de cider to ask them a question
In side were two lady paramedics
I asked them about Giardia. The eldest of the two suggest eating a few yogurts to help put healthy bacteria into my gut.
Seemed a good answer.
I thanked them and headed up the road. Okay thumb out.

It was a busy  road and it  went  through  Grand Lake so I should quickly get a hitch……Right !!!
I watched car after car go past … Really . After 30 minutes I thought I’d try walking so I I went  holding out  my thumb.   But nothing really… Well its July the 4th so mainly families  I guess. 
I stopped again as I was hot and took off a layer. 
Again I waited for 30 minutes
But still no…..dam….
Okay im walking again with my thumb still out and still nothing. 
God I thought with this amount of traffic it would be so easy  But NO !!
I kept on walking  in the blazing sun, pleased I had taken more water. I kept walking until I passed an Rv camp.
I was hot and with no shade I decided to stop. Again after 20 minutes nothing that’s almost 2.5 hrs  that’s dreadful .
I was just about to hoist my pack when a pickup stopped.
A lady wound down the window. Do you mind riding in the back ?
He’ll no.
I dropped my pack into the back and climbed up and in 
Whoop I’m on my way .
Soon I begin passing  some lakes meaning Grand lake is near.
We then began to drive through town. It was busy  and bustling.
The truck turned into a side street and stopped. 
Perfect I was right in town and near to my hotel.

I thanked them and crossed the road. I was just passing the Deli when I heard “snailtrainer” It was Rats and her boyfriend
Good to see you.
They then gave me some soap to do my laundry. 
So I grabbed all my stinky stuff and shoved it into a free machine.
Okay I go check in 
The hotel was only a block away .
Okay I my room is ready .Perfect.
I dumped all.my gear  then headed back to the laundrette. My wash was done so  I put my clothes into the dryer.
Okay all done I headed across to the hardware store to grab fuel but they didn’t have the type I wanted. So began to wander downtown. I was just passing the World end Brew Pub when once again I heard “Snailtrainer ”  it was Kid and two new faces.  A British guy called Pirate from  Cambridge and xxx

I joined them ordered a beer and some chicken wings in bourbon sauce.they were bloody tasty but I was struggling to eat them so grabbed a box. I also wanted another beer but it was just so HOT. hot sauce then appeared 
We caught up.on gossip before I headed back to my room to chill with the  aircon on .

I also had a quick snooze  as there will be fireworks at around 10 pm, I sorted out my food bag to see what I needed and to eat any thing that needed eating. At 10pm there was a big bang that signalled the start of the fireworks.
They were amazing and loud as they echoed in the valley. 

Just a snippet

They went on for about 2 hrs wow so amazing . I watched from my veranda but  could still hear the sounds of enjoyment,claps and whoops of the many spectators over the roar and crackles of the rockets .
Well done town it was bloody amazing

Day 81 Heading to Grand Lake Day 4

JULY 3rd, 2022

It was nice to wake up without a wet tent, considering it did chuck it down last night. I packed up, drank my cuppa and then I was ready. I hoisted my pack and strolled up the dirt track until I came to the lake. Okay where is the trail I wandered around. The overflow from the lake was fierce I can’t cross that. Snails check your app!! Bugger, I walked straight past the trail. Okay back on trial and a bridge to cross the river, but the bridge had seen finer days. It was a beautiful day as I pushed on up the trail passing large clumps of my favourite flower  I think it is the columbine family.

I pushed on up through amazing cliffs before heading across a large meadow, then it was a slow spiral down through great smelling woods, I was dreading the next bit as I had been heading down for ages. But then yesterday I spent the morning climbing.

I thought I was at the bottom but no. I emerged onto a clifftop with amazing views of the valley and then began to descend once again As I began going down, I noticed several large, amazing cabins. Wow I am still going down.
The switchbacks were so well-built must have taken ages. Down and down eventually I emerged into a camp site with many tents dotted around.  I walked through jealous of the smells coming from the various camps. I began walking down the road until I got to water. I filled up But once again I was not feeling right. My antibiotics had fixed the giardia.  But I was still suffering. I need to wait as I need good bacteria in my stomach now. 

As I was daydreaming a car stopped and said do you need a ride to the bottom of the hill.
I just said yes. And got in.
We chatted and  oddly talked about foods and the food that i miss and I said I really fancy a pizza.
He laughed, funny he said I own a pizza restaurant. So, you fancy hanging out with a pizza and beer.
Sounds perfect I said. 
We soon arrived at his restaurant ,He opened and served me an iced water.
Staff then began to arrive and the wood fired pizza ovens were fired up.
He then made me the biggest pizza I have even seen washed down with a few beers
So please visit Pick axe pizza Idaho springs if your passing , bloody awesome

I managed to eat 3/4 then I was stuffed. The owner brought me a box to put the rest in for me to eat later the trail
Okay I will need a map please.
I’ll run you to the next town
Brilliant 
 He dropped me off and I waved goodbye. 
My next ride was a Mexican contractor. We drove for about 5 miles then going up a hill his car just stopped.
He had blown a hose.so I wished him good luck and began waking. 
My next ride was by two young lads who were driving to Winter Park to stay with their parents. 
Once in winter Park I decided I needed a strawberry milkshake. Mmmm tasty okay I need to get on.

My next ride was from a pregnant young lady who was a housekeeper (Brave) But she could only take me to the next town.
My next ride was from a Mexican a plumber who took me all the way to Granby
I thanked them and got out, as I did, he thrust a $20 into my hand.
Okay it is now 4pm and I need somewhere to put my tent. I walked through the town and out the other side.
I think I am about 16 miles away, but then the rain began perfect. I slogged on up the road passing a motel…. shall I… or shall I not
Oh F*uck it indeed a bed, they had room for $100.
That will do. I checked in dropped my gear ,then walked to the gas station. I brought of bag of chips a sprite and a juice.
Once back at the motel I stripped off and jumped into the shower. 
Oh, pizza I ate another huge slice washed down with sprite. 
Then jumped into bed

Night all such an interesting day.