CDT mile 2048.8, miles hiked 31.5
For the last few days we have been traveling through the Beaverhead Range and today we got into the meat of it. When the sun rose we were atop a ridge and could see granite peaks pushing up eastward. These peaks were the first sign of a change in our terrain.
We dropped down from the ridge into a nice forested valley and walked along the bottom of the peaks with rocks on one side of the trail and creeks and lakes on the other. We enjoyed the walk and commented on how it reminded us of Oregon and Washington. We came to a creek and it was getting warm so we rinsed our socks, washed up and cooled off a bit before carrying on.
Later in the day we ran into two section hikers heading south, one is named Medicare Preacher, she is 75 and just about done her triple crown, and also a Lutheran minister. They were fun to talk with but eventually time was the culprit and we had to move on. We climbed a peak that was not too bad but the descent threw us for a loop. Someone had built a new trail down to miners creek and instead of a steep downhill, we had to take giant lazy switchbacks down the mountain. This new trail added a few miles to our already long day.
Once down we immediately started back up to the lake basin. We could see a big peak a little ways off and after looking at the map knew that was where we were heading. At first, we climbed gently but the last 1.5 miles was a butt kicker. We climbed a steep slope and every time we thought, “there is the top” we crested it only to find more climbing ahead. We chugged along grinding away each vertical foot. We were rewarded with pink skies and a full moon over the mountains.
As we descended we filled water at the stream and then found a camp among the rocks. It was 9 pm so we ate, rolled out our bags and are now cowboy camping hoping to watch the Perseid meteor shower again tonight.