Thursday, September 3, 2020

Day 21- Connector Segment

Sunday August 30, 2020
Stealth Spot(270.4) to Dutchman Trail Junction(292.3) 21.9mi
Total Miles: 340.3 
Elevation: 11,379ft

Whew, it got cold last night. I had cell service in camp and when I checked the weather this morning it said it was 30 degrees. I stayed warm enough to sleep well. I did have a ton of condensation on my tarp, so I knew I’d have to stop at some point today to let everything dry out. 


I tried to be as quite as possible packing up this morning since I had to people set up camp feet away from me. Just as I was leaving one of them made a snarky comment about how loud I was. Geez, you set up next to me not the other way around. So far I haven’t been impressed with a lot of the people hiking the trail this year. I took the high road and didn’t respond. 

The trail today just plain sucked. I hiked on Jeep roads almost all day, which meant I hiked on rocks all day. This section of trail only exists to connect the trail to a better section farther south. At least the weather cleared up and was very pleasant. I hiked in a long sleeve shirt for most of the morning. It feels like fall has finally come. I can see the Aspens and ground shrubs already changing color at the higher elevations. Today was definitely a keep your head down and walk kind of day. The amount of mental effort needed to hike over rocks is astounding. I have to think about every step that I take. 

Fall is coming 

Believe it or not, but this was the least amount of rocks

I did see an astounding amount of wildlife. Early this morning a saw a young deer with tiny antlers. Later in the day I came across a skittish fox, an about an hour before making camp I saw my first bear of this trail. The bear was a little disconcerting because he didn’t immediately run away. Apparently I was hiking through his berry patch. After a long stand off he sauntered off far enough that I felt comfortable walking past him. He just kept munching on berries until I crossed some invisible line, then he ran away. 

Young deer 

Skittish fox 

Yes mom, that is zoomed in. I wasn’t that close

Water was tricky today. I only had two sources the entire day. The first source was about eight miles into the hike. I’m glad that I had WanderLost bring me a Sawyer filter. The source was surrounded by cow patties. I drank a liter while I waited for my gear to dry out and I carried two liters with me since the next source was ten miles away. The last source of the day was a lake half a mile off trail. I don’t particularly like having to walk to far off trail for water, but I didn’t have another choice. The source 3 miles farther than the lake is most likely dry and I couldn’t take the risk. If that is dry it is 12 miles to the next source. I decided to cook dinner at the lake so I wouldn’t have to carry four liters of water. I was starving by the time I got to the lake. I didn’t cook dinner last night because of the storm. There isn’t room to cook dinner under my tarp and by the time the rain stopped it was late. I did a much better job of eating today. I ate all of my food I had laid out for the day. I don’t think that has happened all trail. I had to force down second breakfast, but after cameling up at the water source I was surprisingly hungry. 

As I was walking through an open field I came across the bones of a cow. It occurred to me that this was the same place I used bones to make the 1,100 mile marker on the cdt. I wonder if they were the same bones. It also occurred to me that I haven’t been making mile markers on this trail. I decided to use the bones to make my 300 mile marker. 

I’m slightly over 300 miles

High alpine lake

Since I cooked dinner around 5:30 at the lake I was able to hike slightly later than I usually do. The last three miles after the lake went by slowly. I was carrying 3L of water and it felt like it weighed a ton. I had a plan for where I wanted to camp, but then the two guys from last night passed me as I was getting back on trail after the lake. They were heading for the same area. No way I was going to camp with them again. I had trouble finding a spot, but just before dark I found one. 

Sunset before finding a camping spot

“On the path to greatness, life teaches you to walk with stones in your shoes.”
- Matshona Dhliwayo



  1. Your quote goes well with today's rocky trail. Sorry to hear you aren't meeting friendly people.

  2. I’ve missed your mile markers. Thanks for making one. Thanks for letting me know the bear was zoomed in. The quote was very fitting for your day. I’m glad you have hiker hunger back. 😘

  3. I laughed out loud when I read that bear photo was zoomed in. Love all the beautiful wildlife.
    Guess some of the hikers are bored with the shutdown and are on the trail with you - hope you
    have better neighbors in the future.