CDT Day 129 (CO – Rawlins to Steamboat)

Sobo Wars: Colorado Strikes Back

  • CDT Miles: 1,483.9-1,456.7 (27.2)
  • Total Hiked: 2,149.6 miles
  • Elevation Range: 8,000-11,900

“In the muddy water we’re falling, Ooh, In the muddy water we’re crawling.” – LP (“Muddy Waters”)

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda (Star Wars: The Emperor Strikes Back)

I heard the rain start up again at 5am, just before my alarm was about to go off. Around 5:45am, it sounded as if it was petering off so started getting ready.

I was quite sick if the rain at this point, but it actually turned out to be dry once going. That isbm, until I skipped into tma mud puddle. As I was stepping along side, inskidnon the slope and did a sort of sideways flop. Mainly, my left leg got all muddy and my foot wet. It was one of those just keep trudging moments. The trail kind of sucked too. It was a steep ATV trail that this morning seemed more like a slip n’ slide going down.

I will say the morning pictures turned out nice…

The comments in my map app were a bit confusing this morning. Something about a bridge being out and downed trees across the trail and there being an alternate. The person describing the alternate trail even used words like “immaculate tread.” So, that sounded great to me and I went for it. They went parallel to one another just on different sides of a valley anyways.

It was amazing what the sun did to my attitude, boosted my spirits and motivation levels 10 points on I’d say! And, the trail did prove to be stellar.

Got to Seedhouse Campground, still on this amazing alternate, and found a pit toilet, picnic table, and trash! I thought, what a good place to have second breakfast and maybe even lay out some stuff to dry. Went into the outhouse to take a poo and upon exiting, everything had clouded over. What’s up with that!?

Sure enough, started raining. At least I had a nice dry spot under a tree where I finished my breakfast and got prepped for hiking in the rain. Before leaving though, the camp host waved me over. He offered me some coffee which was super nice and I stupidly declined. I was already bundled up to set out, but did chat with him a while. He out things into perspective for me too. Having been here all summer, he said that just a two weeks ago he’d prepped his camper to be ready for a fast pack up and go in case of fire. So yeah, that changes things. Let the rain falleth!

As I finally parted, and was throwing away my trash into the dumpster before hiking, two hikers came down the road… Yellow Card and Joe Cool! These are the two hikers that mom and dad and I saw near Rawlins hiking the road and had given some sodas too. I chatted a bit and sent them over to the camp host to get under his canopy. Again, I was stupid. Should’ve joined them, but I’ve been in push it mode. I suppose I was about to start an uphill of nearly 4,000 feet!

The rain this first stretch didn’t last all that long, maybe a half hour-45 minutes and most of that was me underneath the camp hosts canopy.

Any sunshine I got, I was trying to dry things out, including using my pack as a clothes line…

I was apparently entering the Routt National Forest and the Zirkel Wilderness…

Up and up…

At lunch, I got some nice sun, so laid things out. Even went for the sleeping bag since it felt a little damp. Was pretty efficient with my time.

I had some mellow stuff following lunch before things really kicked in. The skies were darkening again though.

That mountain up there was where I was heading. I think it’s called Lost Ranger Peak, which doesn’t sound great.

After filling up with water in a tiny little meadow stream, I started the steep uphill climb…

I met a hunter on the beginning part coming down and we chatted. I was pretty amazed he was so high up. As we talked, it started to snow a little and that was about when we each decided we’d better keep it moving.

Looking back…

This next stretch of trail would be another reminder of how serious this Colorado elevation is. So windy. Intimidating. Powerful. I felt quite small against such a force. On the way up, I made small goals of reaching any tree or bush to get a little break.

Up top it calmed some and leveled off and I breathed a little easier. I was expecting to go down and did after a bit, but not much. Things plateaued some and the whole time it was filled with exposed wide open views. Normally, this is what I love and I’d be like a mountain goat exploring other views and such. That was a little tougher to do when getting blasted. Took me a while to figure out that I needed my full warm hiking mode gear. Then, it was better. Super thankful once again for the new mitten purchase!

Things were getting real for a bit when some snow started up and a bit further on I heard thunder and saw lightning. It was far off, but appeared to be coming my way.

Down, I thought. Go down, trail! Thankfully, it listened to me for once and I started making some moves to trees and lower elevations.

And the lightning stuff never came over me. I could see it hit the ridge where I was heading, but seemed to pass through fast and I missed it. This blue sky was an oddball…

My mitts! I’d be going home if without these beauts!

Little far off rainbow action…

And then it happened. At 6:15pm, got the first direct sunshine in a long time. Then it clouded over, but still, it had the feel that the storm was moving past.

I had to make it to this lake for water and then anything afterwards, I was taking for a tent site. Found a nice flat spot under some pines not too far ahead! What a lovely end to a blustery, yet awesome day.

Albums of the Day

“Lost on You” – LP (2017)

“Young Man” – Jamestown Revival (2022)

One thought on “CDT Day 129 (CO – Rawlins to Steamboat)

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