Rogers Pass(2722.3) to Dry Lake(2740.8)
Total Miles: 2455.3
Elevation: 7,500 ft
I managed to get more than seven hours of sleep last night. That hasn’t happened very often on this trail. I didn’t get up until almost eight o’clock. Everyone was moving pretty slowly this morning. I almost always pack up my pack the night before, but I just wasn’t in the mood last night. I think I was the first one to start packing up this morning. Once I was done I walked across the street to the gas station for some coffee and a breakfast burrito. I was ready to go before the rest of the group. Nobody seemed very motivated to head back to the trail. We finally started hitching around ten o’clock. After trying unsuccessfully for twenty minutes I was ready to throw in the towel. I had a phone number for a local trail angel and I wanted to call him. Just as I pulled out my phone to make the call a car stopped. It was the local trail angel, Gary. He had a quick errand to run and said that he would come back for us in fifteen minutes. We moved away from the side of the road to wait for him to come back. While we were waiting we saw two other hikers named Dirtbag and Constantine. I met Constantine on day one. We were in the same shuttle that took us to the border. I haven’t seen him since then. We chatted until Gary came back for us. He couldn’t fit us all in, Constantine and DB had to wait for him to come back after giving us a ride.
The terrain today was not ideal for the first day out of town. I went up and down all day long. The climbs were steep and relentless. To make things even more challenging the wind was atrocious. There had to have been gusts over 50 mph. We walked on the actual divide for most of the day. The views would have been spectacular if not for all of the haze. My back was bothering me slightly for most of the day. I really didn’t feel like hiking in a group so I intentionally fell behind. I really enjoy hiking alone and I haven’t been doing that much lately. Today seemed like a good day to go back to my normal routine. I listened to a really interesting podcast all about the Watergate scandal. If you like podcasts check out, Slow Burn. I really enjoyed listening to it.
Lots of haze
Cool yurt right next to the trail
Easy trail to follow
I spent the entire day hiking up 400-1,100 feet at a time. Then the trail would go back down the exact elevation I had just gained. Making it to the top of the climb was a challenge. I was constantly fighting the wind all day. I took very few breaks and I didn’t eat much today. The terrain made eating while hiking next to impossible. Taking breaks was less than ideal because of the wind. It was a no win situation all day long. I made a miscalculation with my water and as a result had to go without for about four miles. There was a water source midway through the day, but it was .4 miles downhill and off trail. I thought I could go another twelve miles to the next source pretty easily, but the wind died down slightly and the temperature went up a little. In retrospect I probably should have carried more water out of town.
The trail hit all of the peaks in the distance
More history along the CDT
Other than the wind, crazy elevation gain/loss, the hazy sky, and lack of water I really enjoyed today. The Scapegoat Forest is a pretty cool area of trail. I wish we would have left town earlier though. I felt like I was behind all day long. I met back up with Straws, Piñata, and Z at a water source. They were planning on grabbing a little water and hiking another 5.5 miles before stopping for the night. It was already almost seven o’clock. I didn’t think I could get the miles in before dark. I told them to go on without me. I was just going to get water, cook, and setup camp for the night. I said that I would meet up with them tomorrow or in the next town. I was surprised to see them when I came back from getting water. They had also decided to call it a day. The plan is to get up early tomorrow and hike a really big day. We found a sheltered spot out of the wind and started doing our camp chores. I’m excited to get to sleep before ten o’clock tonight.
Huge burned area we walked through
Haze beginning to clear
Giant ridge line we hiked
“A high heart ought to bear calamities and not flee them, since in bearing them appears the grandeur of the mind and in fleeing them the cowardice of the heart.”
- Pietro Aretino