DAY 90 Bogs,Butterflies and bullshit

 JULY 12 TH

t’s 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.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.  It was now in a forest that was heading down….I font like heading down for too  as it only means one thing… yes  UP.

Then I met a group of people coming  up the trail. I did the double take then realise that they were a trail crew  with their saws and gear.

I chatted to them for 5 minutes. 

And thanked them.

These  are the invisible  hero’s  who keep the trail  clear.

Some ate volunteers.  And they have walked several miles up trail

Carrying  their gear.  No chain saws . Just manual.

I eventually  came to water so filled up and took a break too

It was about another’s  20  minutes to the trail head where their cars were parked.

The trail now  followed the service road.  As I walked along there were dozens of butterflie taking a drink from the damp road.

I pushed on up as it was  good to walk on. I passed a couple with their dog and walked straight past the  trail junction.

But luckily not far, I followed the trail as it climbed . Bloody hell its getting hot  my watch said 89 and it was still early.

The trail meandered  around the woods up and down but fairly  gentle.before  dropping down to the road. I had to follow this hot snd dusty road.

It crossed the river by a large bridge. 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 

Then filterd 2 bottles. 

I pushed on through the park following the  badges on  the trees.

I passed 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

I was up early  and witnessed a great sunrise. I packed up and was just drinking my tea  when a lady hiker csme 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 Imeadity  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 milage 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 dome more and omg some more. I thought I was done with snow.  Obviously  NOT!!.

Aa I made my wayvover 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  perefect 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 hes 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 imeadity  climbed up  the other side. 

Except as I began the next climb I found myself in a bog.

Now on the Apalahcian  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 sence 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 vally  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 backbto 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  stood 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 tyoicsllyvthe 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 as before 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 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. 

But nearby  was a small spinny. That looks ideal and it was now 5.30. That will do me.

And it was mossie  free. Well untill 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.

So 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.

So one more  coffee. Then u finished off the sprite  then 30 minutes later  finished off the milK

Okay now I’m ready.

I hoisted up my pack  and left the room. I handed  in my key changed my coins into notes and said  goodbye.

It was pricey but I e joued my stay the front desk always knew my name and couldn’t do enough for me.

I walked across  the road and took upmy hitching position. 

Further up the road I could see two other hikers. Let’s see who gets a ride first……I lost lol

But then a ride. My driver had 7 dogs in the car all huskys. Mum & dad and 5 babies (16 weeks). He also has 14 more in Alaska.

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.im guessing 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  hi on a 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 bench. 

And most were rented out. I t also had several lakes. 

The trail became a trail again and headed away from.the campsite.

I met numerous  prople waking and most were chatty like  me lol.

Well I enjoy meeting people. 

I pushed on as it was beginning to get warm.

I crossed over a do not use this bridge.  And carried on up the trail. 

The trail was a very gentle roller coaster  and I felt I had a great pace. Although I was  still stopping to  chat to people. 

Then I met a southbound  hikers. I’m guessing he was flipflopping 

Or finishing off a section. 

Any way 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  the ankle and as this part of the trail was badly cut up. It was making my foot worse.

But 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 called  lunch. As I sat there still more people pased 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  still headed down.  With the added fun  of log jumping

I  was eventually at the bottom. Hmm where does the trail  go,?

But No they were right.  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 . So I took  5 mins.

Then I dotted a couple with their dog coming down  from the other side. Once again we chatted for a while  before heading on opposite  directions. There were a few climbs then flat . Sounds perfect. But I take what I’m yd with a pinch of salt. 

Further along the trsil my boxers and shorts seemed yo gave a disagreement so at the next water I dropped my pack to sort the issue.  Done

I grabbed 1 litre  as the next was in 5 miles and if I stopped before at least I could make a cuppa.

But the trail was still fairly level and I was feeling great. Thank god as the last few days i have had no energy or stamina. 

Wow  its 5.30  come on snail  let’s try to get to at least 6.30 I pushed on  thunder echoed nearby. great that’s all I need. But the rain held off. 

Water  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 mt tent in there.

But OMG It was buggy (Mossies)

I threw up my tent.checked myself and oack 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 

It’s a zero but I was up early as chores  needed 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 thec two

I  didn’t have to wait long for the bus .The bus 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 were. 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 but 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 wasnt long until I was in the chair .

The lady did a great job and tidied up my beard  thank god.

Okay Post office.it was the other end but not far.

I walked in and to the counter and handed 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.there was one similar but it was expensive.

Okay  I saw a tshirt in a stall so went back and brought it .then had 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 abd 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 stomp instead.i didn’t need much but still doent 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 a 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 . And 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

 woke up early and refreshed 

Determined to to make ammends  for a  poor day yesterday…

I pushed off and began a small climb but that soon leveled 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 blowndowns  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  moter bikes and so new  obstacles of huge  puddles and deep ruts but it is what it is.

The trsil 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 hrs 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 perrfect log  I dropped my pack and chilled .

God its so hot…

Okay  snail let’go 

I was still pushing trying to crack miles and get into steamboat .

But 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  drwaf 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 .the sound for progressively  louder until the bikers came into view.1,2

3  I stood off trail as they flew by.i 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 .

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. Oh snd bloody hot snd in a burn area  there is no shade.

I began to struggle  and slurred  more water. As I struggled up one  hill there was another 

Come on trail down or level please because of the heat I was   slurping  a lot of water and so will need more soon.

Great the trail is now heading down but of course steep snd because of the ruts it was a nightmare to walk down  but  water I can see water.

At last I dropped my pack  and filled  and filtered  2 litres . One I  downed imeadity.wow was I that thirsty. 

Okay lets go. The next few miles was a roller coaster  up and down.  I was quite impressed on how the bikes get up these hills.

As i struggled.  

In the distance I could see a road but typically the trail goes in the opposite  direction. 

Bit from my app I was getting close to the trail head.  From here I cross over the road and then it’s not far to town whoop.

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 the 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 recomends)

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.

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.

But the  trail wasn’t that steep thank god as I chugged up. 

I came to my first river crosding 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.  The 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 it was three a female and a large bull..

I called out as not to spook them .then did a little filming

 But the closer I got I could see another bull lying down . 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 yo be two trails obnecheading down and the second that climbed up snd 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  bushwacking back to the trail  and feeling very angry with myself.

Okay back on trail and the trail  began to meander off into the distance.  But it was nice to hike on and I began to push. 

I was obviously  enjoying myself fat too much as tge trailnow began to climb spiraling 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 stooped 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 didnt know that was possible. 

I quickly took shelter as best I could  under a tree amd 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 apear to let up.

After 20 minutes the rain eased enough for me to hike on .but the thunder continued.  After about 15- 20 minutes  it returned with vengeance  and the trail soon became a river once again I took shelter under a tree. 

But I was getting cold too cold. 

Fuck it and this weather. I quickly scaned the area looking for a suitable spot for a tent.it will probably be a compromise .

I dashed up a small hill. Yes this  do I frantically put up my tent tryo g not to get it too wet inside…Mission impossible. 

I then threw every thing in before going to get water.

Once back I inflated my mat and uncle my bad and got in . Putting on my puffy at the same time as I was really cold. 

Once in I fired up my stove and out 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 untill 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 towls 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 im 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 thats 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 snd 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 . Itcwas 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 led 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 thst 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.  And infront 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 was going to do alternate  . As I pushed on I was bring attacked my legions  of mossies ,bastard things.  Arrrrrhhhh. 

The trail was very well maintained with perfect steps and run offs.

I was slow following the timer and in places the roar was deafening. 

I pushed on  impressed with the trail. 

I waa now going through 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  we passed.  The older “mother:

Said CDT. 

yes a Brit from Oxford I said or rather another mad person.

She laughed. I do bits she said but uou 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 carried on my way.

Several minutes later the jogger passsed 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 hrs 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. And 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 thst 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  maybe a horse coming towards me.no 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. And then I watched them all go.

I’m guessing that with loads the Llamas are carrying they are  carrying  out trail maintenence .

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 untill 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 hrs .God must have been a huge fire.

Then the trail  became very well kept again. Looks 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 into a trail head 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 .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.i thought he may come over, but he carried on going as I saw him vanish down the toad 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 overand 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 courses  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 thst 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 splish 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 fairly steady stream croosed  the trail 

That’s perfect for me.

I filled up both bottle’s.  And 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,but why are the mossies  out in such numbers.  The rain should have made 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 out dide and had 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 veg and relax. 

Night all

Mileages  17 miles great

DAY 83 ZERO Grand Lake

July 5th

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. They assistant wants to be helpful.  But the 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.  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 microspikes up trail. 

It wasnt 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.  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 freinds  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 a deli when snailtrainer

It was Rats and her boyfreind

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 snother 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 Lound 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 3

JULY 2nd

When I  opened my tent this morning I was surprised to see 4 other tents had joined me.

So I packed up as quietly  as I could. 

I was on trail by 6.30 and began a slow climb. I hadn’t gone far when I met xxxx & mouse just starting out ,i hadn’t seen them  for many weeks.

I set off after them knowing i wouldn’t catch them. Then I really began to climb and climb bloody he’ll what a climb. I could see them high above me, Bloody hell its high.

The higher I climbed the more I could see down below in the valley including the noisey factory. I later found out It was a mine and they are mining  magnetite a  mineral that makes metal stronger.

At last I was at the top ,and wow what  amazing views. The trail meandered away in the distance and A I made my way down the trail was littered with rock thst hampered my pace

In the distance I could see my fellow hikers half way up yet another climb  (or large hill)

As I  followed the trail  I began to meet numerous day hikers. It always amazes me where they come from as they just appear.

In the distance was a large  outcrop and it appeared packed with people  and as I got nearer I could see at least  a dozen dogs too.

High up on a hill I noticed a bunch of masts.  So sat on a rock and checked if I had service.

Yes but patchy 

I checked my mail.my gloves were delayed  booo hisss

Note from a freind

Messages from sons

ALL good  

The  trail  now headed down of course as we are heading towards a pass. So it was down and down  as i made my decent i guess I passed about another 20 people heading up this area seems a real popular placeand this was confirmed when I  could see the parking lot that was packed with cars. Wow what a lot of cars.

At one  end was a large  wooden building.i arrived at the road and crossed  over and headed for the wooden building

There were toilets so I used them and put my trash in the bin. 

I was hoping for a vending machine ⁰ as I fancied a soda.

I said to a man outside you would have thought they would have  vending. 

Why what do you need?

A cold soda or at least something cold 

How about a beer.

Good yes please.

I followed him to his truck.

And he produced an ice cold IPA.

Thank you so.much.

I found a suitable rock and enjoyed my ale. 

Okay  I spent the last 30 mins coming down so I guess it’s now up.

And what a up it was. I started by heading up a forestry road or rather one that services the radio  masts.

Then it split onto the trail ,it began nice and level  then just began to climb and climb. Infact I spent the rest of the morning climbing. 

Omg I have climbed higher than the radio masts..I don’t know why I found this funny ,but I did .

But the climbs just kept coming like false summits   or mountains  on top of mountains.

At last i reached  the summit my last one (fingers crossed)

Although I was a little disappointed ,because my climbing is so poor  my millage is poor. Hopefully I can make it up going down

Can we go down please.

Phew the trail snaked off into the distance  across two low hills.

Perfect..I said to nobody.

I  started down but .it was fairly rocky so it was slow going .At last the trail was clear and  I was away. I pounded down the trail  making good pace, and  felt great in the sunshine 

But then I came to a huge  field of rock ,in fact the whole side of the mountain was rock

The trail prople had done an amazing job of making paths through it with switch backs. 

But it was slow going and after several hours I was getting  fed up with it especially as the rain was threatening. 

The rock paths now became steep due to snow and rock falls.

So I had to be carefully where I stepped.but then I slipped and was about to face plant  the rocks

Below , luckily my poles saved me and I was amazed I didn’t snap or bend one

I long list of obscenities  came fourth. F*uck it and this rock . This trail is poorly designed came the rant from my mouth.

I had had enough. I wanted to be pushing miles not tiptoeing  across this rock.Arrrrrhhhh

I think I threw  my toys out of the pram. As I had had enough.

Okay I need water then I’m going to throw up  my tent and call it a day 

The rocky pcontinued around the side of the mountain  but i could hear water.

Okay I see water. I climbed down and filled up both bottle’s.  Then continued down to the dirt road where the buggies were racing around earlier.

I headed towards a clump of trees just as the rain began. There were suitable spots , but I wanted to double check if there were any  better ones.

I found a spot and quickly put up my tent fighting off the mossies. Bloody  things.

So straight into my tent.

Got settled and put on a brew.

Mileage 12 poor but I quit early.