Tough morning today after yesterday’s rollercoaster. We both had trouble getting in gear, so it was slow for sure. Then we got to a spot where you could summit Cottonwood Peak (11,024ft) relatively easily and come out on trail on the other side. We debated briefly but really we both wanted to do it.
It was pretty easy going to get up, except the elevation made us stop for breath regularly. Great views from the top, but we didn’t linger long as an icy wind was blowing up there. The descent was way steeper and tough on the knees, but eventually it leveled out near the CDT.
Overall we didn’t make it 10 miles by lunch, 5.5 hours of hiking… But it was awfully pretty up there. After lunch we made up a lot of ground, and by dinner we were in range of normal mileage.
My only other interesting incident was that after dinner I hiked down to a lake and ran into a 20 person, car supported, hiking group finishing up dinner. I stopped and chatted and ended up with a plate of food. They seemed pretty happy to be out there and thought doing the CDT was interesting (or crazy, they were being polite 🙂
I saw Chance walking by below as I finished up, so I excused myself and tried to chase him down. In the end I caught him too far away to go back, so we just went on and eventually camped at an exposed saddle. We should have a beautiful morning.
Date: Aug 5, 2011
Daily Distance: 23.5 miles
Trip Distance: 755.5 miles