October 6, 2015

THREE LAKES, CO

I heard it all night long; wind, rain, and hail. In the frosty morning there was a thin layer of white all around. Despite the inclement climate, I got an early start with my DriDucks on and several layers underneath. I had the DriDucks on all day, but no precipitation fell

The morning climbs were slippery and treacherous. It was slow going. By mid morning the skies cleared and it was glorious weather the rest of the day. I took off several layers and continued

The scenery was surprisingly spectacular. I couldn’t help but take some photos despite wanting to make miles.

It seemed like I was going in slow motion. I was really dragging along and feeling weary toward evening, but I was determined to be no less than 10 miles from Cumbres Pass by day’s end.

Navigation was rather painful. A good part of the day was playing the game “find the cairn in the rocky field”. I was able to find most of them and didn’t get off course as I did yesterday. The tread conditions were bad, of course. There are lots of ways to trip, twist an ankle, and slip on the rocky and uneven tread

I passed by several great camp and water spots hoping to get to Three Lakes, which was a water spot shown on CDT Hiker at 12 miles from Cumbres Pass. When I got to Three Lakes they were completely dry. Heck!

I continued on in hopes of finding water and camp. This is when a bug in CDT Hiker appeared; the app would crash as I approached closer to Cumbres Pass. Without this I don’t have GPS navigation. I eventually found some marshy ground where I could filter some water, but my pump seemed to be acting up. I was getting a trickle out of the filter and it was taking a long time to get a liter as I could see a storm moving in and darkness falling

I gave up after getting one liter and looked for a camp in the dark. I found a large cairn and decided to camp near it since I don’t have GPS navigation working; at least this way I know I will wake up near trail. A large area around this cairn is rocky and unsuitable for camp, but with clouds rolling in I pitched on the only soft ground I could find. I was on a very lumpy patch of turf, but I found the lumps kinda fit my back and rump pretty well. I was just happy to get on and thaw my icy fingers

Only 12 miles from the end. Tomorrow I will return to civilian life