East of Bald Eagle Mt(1178.4) to E Fork Eagle River(1203.4)
Total Miles: 1275
Since I only had to hike twenty five miles today I slept in. I didn’t get up until 6:30 and I started hiking at seven. I was surprised that my legs were sore this morning. I guess doing over 7,000 feet of elevation gain yesterday did me in. My legs haven’t been sore in a very long time. It took me awhile to really warm up and get into a groove. Most of the day was spent hiking in the forest. It reminded me a lot of hiking in Oregon. Other than one climb early in the day, the trail was very mellow.
Cruising through the forest
Every once in awhile I would pop out into the open and get a quick view before heading back into the trees. There were a lot of tiny mountain streams and those reminded me out the Appalachian Trail. To be frank, I was bored for most of the day. I think that was to be expected after ascending Mt. Elbert yesterday. Today just couldn’t compare. I enjoyed being back amongst the trees, but I just felt slightly off today. I really had to focus to stay present and try to enjoy the hike. Sometimes I managed, and other times I did not.
Quick break from the forest
Holy Trinity Wilderness
It must be prime hiking season for the Colorado Trail. I saw more southbound thruhikers today than ever before. I lost count after thirteen. I really didn’t take the time to talk to most of them. It was usually just a quick hello, or a how ya doin. There were also a lot of day hikers and over night backpackers out. I like to see the locals taking advantage of their local trails. This area of Colorado really gets a lot of use. I’m only a few hours away from Denver, which makes this popular for locals and tourists alike the trail has been beautifully maintained for the last hundred miles or so. Almost every single major water crossing has had a log bridge over it. I can’t tell you how nice it is to keep my feet dry.
Around mid afternoon I was walking through a marshy area full of mosquitoes. The trail was a little rocky through there as well. I had a biting fly take a chunk out of my wrist. With that I lost my concentration and took a bad step. My bad knee buckled and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground. I don’t think it is too serious of an injury. I was able to keep hiking, but my knee is swollen and a little sore. To make things more interesting, I also tweaked my back. The remainder of the miles for the day came slow with a lot of breaks thrown in. To add insult to injury, my hand swelled up to almost double its usual size from the fly bite. At least the trail was very easy for the rest of the afternoon. I would have been in serious trouble if I had had any major descents. At the next water crossing I soaked my hand in the icy water and took some vitamin I(hiker slang for ibuprofen). The swelling in my hand went down so that I could at least make a fist. It should be fine tomorrow. I had almost the same thing happen on the pct. The swelling went away completely by the next day. I just hope my back feels better tomorrow.
It really was a beautiful day
Well marked trail
I was able to unload my trash again today. I came across a CT hiker at a trailhead called, Tennessee Pass. He had his care with him, so I decided to just out right ask him if he would take my trash. I was thrilled when he said yes. I meet two CDT hikers at the trailhead as well. One of them, a guy named Hercules, knows 2 bad Dogz. Just more proof of how interconnected the hiking community is. Towards the end of the day I hit a weird section of trail. It was weird for multiple reasons. First, since it is below 10,000 feet the terrain was more high desert than alpine. I haven’t seen high desert terrain in awhile. Secondly, I kept seeing signs indicating that I should not wander off of the trail. The US military uses to use this area for munitions testing. I guess there might be some old unexplored ordinances in the area.
Kind of unique
Old storage area
I made into it camp before 6:30pm. It felt great to sit down, but it also didn’t take long to begin stiffening up. I cooked and ate quickly. I took some more vitamin I and started on my blog. As I’m writing this I’m falling asleep. I hope I feel better in the morning.
"Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer." - Denis Waitley