Sunday, August 16, 2020

Day 5- Water is Life

Friday August 14, 2020
South Platte River(16.8) to FS Rd 543(36.2) 19.4mi
Total miles: 78.3
Elevation: 7,395ft

I planned to start hiking this morning by 6am and I almost made it. I think I was on trail at 6:15. The parking lot had a privy so that help to save time with my morning routine. I felt good when I got up. I wasn’t as sore as I expected. My feet were killing me by the end of yesterday, but seemed fine this morning. I filled up extra water last night so I didn’t have to mess with it today. Last night was warm. I was able to sleep in just shorts and a T-shirt. I was a little chilled when I first got up, but I had a five mile climb to help me warm up. This was the first climb of the hike where I felt strong. I didn’t have to stop multiple times to catch my breath or rest my legs. It helped that it want very steep. The trail was well graded and had a lot of switchbacks. I was able to complete the entire climb before it got too hot. 

Nice bridge over the river as I left camp

The terrain today felt a lot like Southern California on the PCT. I hiked through burn areas and old logging operations. I had over 6 miles with zero shade. It was very uncomfortable. At least I remembered to put on sunscreen. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything to prevent chaffing and I am rubbed raw in several uncomfortable areas. By the end of the day I was walking like I was saddlesore. 

Great sunrise

Colorado high desert

Just as I was entering the worst of the exposed areas I saw a northbound hiker. He was coming uphill and had the right of way so I got out of his way. We stopped to chat for a second. I was surprised when he asked me if I hiked the PCT in 2016 and if my name was Yoda. He didn’t look familiar at all. Apparently we hitch hiked together into the town of Etna in Northern California. I’ll have to look back on my blog to see if I mentioned him(Dusty). We talked for about 20 minutes. It was great to speak with an experienced hiker. Every other person I’ve met so far hasn’t hiked a long distance trail before. I have to admit I am enjoying answering all of their questions about gear and pack weights. I learned so much from other hikers along the way that it is nice to be able to help them out. 

Very hazy today due to 2 major fires in Colorado 

The fire station offered a nice break from the sun. I tried to concentrate on my hydration today. I managed to get down 5 liters of water by noon. I still don’t have much of an appetite, but I know that won’t be a problem once I get into higher elevations and it cools down. Jeff caught up to my as I was taking an extended break to wait out the heat. I were joined by Josh and Josh. Josh #1 is carrying the biggest pack I have ever seen. He actually has some canned food in there. I have no idea how he can even lift the thing. I wanted to do a pack shake down for him, but I didn’t want to offend him. 

Hard to get the scale of how tall it was

Jeff’s bikepacking set up

Most of the hikers that congregated at the fire station were going to wait out the heat of the day there and hike a few late afternoon miles. I decided to start hiking are 1:30. It was still really hot out, but I wanted to go 9 more miles so I could camp by a good water source with good camping. The first four miles were pretty exposed and very dusty. I only went 3 miles before I had to stop again. I found a random spot of shade and sat down. I had no idea how I was going to go another six miles. As I was contemplating my situation a nice young girl on a mountain bike stopped. She told me that just a little bit farther the trail went into the forest and had decent tree cover. I was so happy I could have hugged her, but you know... Covid-19. The tree cover the forest provided made all of the difference in the world. I made it to camp around 7pm. My spot has a nice babbling brook and I was able to soak my feet, wash my face and neck. What a great way to end the day. Jeff showed up a little bit after I had my camp set up. It was nice having someone to talk to during dinner. I’m not sure if we will see each other again. Bikepackers aren’t allowed on the next section of trail. They have to take a 70 mile detour before redoing the CT. That section is only 23 miles for hikers. I have a feeling that 70 miles will go pretty quick for him since it is all dirt roads and he won’t have to hike his bike up any mountains. I guess time will tell. 

Cool looking trail marker 

 “The most inspiring piece of advice I've gotten is simply to persevere. My mom taught me to always keep going no matter what from an early age. When it feels too difficult to push forward, I always remind myself, 'This too shall pass,' and then I redouble my efforts.”
-!Liya Kebede


  1. Great that you are meeting and sharing information with people. Chuckled at your comment "could have hugged her" when you found out about the upcoming forest and shade! The quote for the day is so appropriate.

  2. Just caught up with your latest post! ....Memories of your other trail adventures and you taking us with you! Be safe! Godspeed Yoda!

  3. I’m happy you called today while in Jefferson, but horrible connection. I also liked the hiker telling you about shade ahead. So nice the firehouse was giving water out to hikers. Keep hydrated and EAT!!