I forgot to say yesterday that the terrain has changed quite drastically in this section. There’s much more of a desert feel, and the mountains have been a lot less jagged and huge. Water has actually been an issue, and today there was evidence of cows everywhere.
When I got going this morning, I filled my water bottle from a stream and it *froze* by the time I went to drink it an hour later. I caught up to Lucky Joe and Chance after lunch and they said it had been -8C overnight. I actually didn’t notice the cold until I was walking and my hands wouldn’t warm up in spite of multiple pairs of gloves.
Today I noticed that fall is happening, and it’s pretty beautiful. There are tons of aspens and they are slowly turning shades of gold and red all up the slopes around me as I walk.
Chance quickly convinced me to do an alternative with them, to summit San Luis Peak (14,014ft). I hadn’t really planned to do it, but I didn’t need much arm twisting. After dinner we turned off the main trail and started ascending a river valley that ends on the slopes of San Luis. In the morning I will summit and then rejoin the trail. Im guessing it will be quite chilly, but it will be the highest peak I hit on this whole hike.
Date: Sept 23, 2011
Daily Distance: 31 miles
Trip Distance: 1756.7 miles