CDT mile 607, miles hiked 26.3

A cool old trail marker in a tree

The first task for the day was to get to the river and get across it.  A section hiker named Pot had told us that when they arrived the river was so high they had to turn around.  The log over it was useless and he said it was too much for his wife.  They also experienced much more snow in this section so we weren’t sure what to expect.

The river was flowing but not too high, the water was frigid from all the snow melt but we all crossed without incident.  We saw the French couple again and played leapfrog with them all day.  They are probably in their 60’s and do not speak a lick of English.  But they are friendly, laugh and make an effort plus the two of them are strong hikers.

We climbed back up from the river back to over 10,000′ where we would spend the day walking through meadows and valleys, oh and getting a bit lost at times.

I missed a turn this morning up by the Vallecitos Ranch, I ended up walking to the end of the ridge by accident and having to turn around.  A bonus was I saw this cool rock altar with a cool sculpture of the Madona.  After sorting out where the trail was I carried on with the boys.

The altar I found when misplaced

We came to a lake that was supposed to have a water spigot but the solar pump was hit by lightning the other day so we were SOL. We used the water we had to cook at the picnic table and got rid of our trash.  Man two days in a row of trash cans so great.

Actual honest to goodness hiker trash!

Actual honest to goodness hiker trash!

We lost Buttercup on the next section, we missed a turn and wound up doing about 1.5 extra miles before regaining the actual trail.  We eventually found him asleep atop a climb waiting for us.

As we descend the valley we met a section hiker Purple Pants a nice retired man who has hiked the AT.  We all stopped to look at a porcupine in a tree.  We moved on and minutes later can across another porcupine and then another after that.  We also came across a pronghorn and a 5 elk.  The trail took us down a drainage in a meadow.  Since the wildlife is abundant and we are all wiped out we decided to make camp.

Tomorrow will be the final camp for the 5 of us.  We are only 25.6 miles from the border and the end of Freefall’s and Sweet Potato’s section hike.  We plan to stop short of the border and enjoy one final night on the trail.  It will be odd to not have them with us but I know that the 3 of us will carry on and watch each other’s backs as we work our way north.