Day 90: Onwards to Cumbres

Miles Hiked: 21.4

Total Milage: 1492.1

Today I woke up around 6:30am. Revolt drove us back to the trail around 7am. When he dropped us off I was so sad to say goodbye. I wish he was coming with us! Thank you so much Revolt and Julie for all your hospitality and hanging out with us! It was so nice to visit and have a day of rest.

We started hiking south from Wolf Creek pass around 8am. The climb up to the top of the ski resort wasn’t bad at all. It was graded very gently so the climb was long but not steep! At the top I broke out some root beers that I carried for everyone to share. It’s Jenga’s favorite beverage and I wanted to surprise him. After the top of the ski resort, we started to descend in a beautiful forest. I absolutely love seeing everything in bloom and walking through the tall green grass. Around noon it started to rain a little bit and it looked like it was going to storm really bad. When we got water about 10 miles in and found a flat spot to set up our tents we took a break while waiting for the storm to pass. I ate a lot of snacks in my tent and tried to take a nap. As much as the thunderstorms really suck, I don’t mind taking a two hour break in the middle of the day all cozied up in my sleeping bag. It’s really nice!

We were sitting in our tents for two hours and the storm did not sound like it was letting up. We weren’t getting rained on anymore but I could here the thunderclouds booming in the distance. I got out of my tent and looked around, so did Jenga. We all felt safe to continue hiking even though the storm could easily come back. We kept hiking and made it about two more miles before all hell broke loose. Lightning flashed right beside 12 pack and I when we were on an exposed part with no where to hide. We both started sprinting as hard as we could to the nearest patch of trees where we assumed lightning position as it started to hail. It continued to flash all around us and no where felt safe. Jenga was casually strolling by as I yelled to him from our hiding spot in the trees. He told us he was going to continue hiking in the dangerous conditions and meet us at camp later. I thought he was absolutely crazy. The lightning was continuing to flash around us as we had this conversation. 12 pack and I set up our tents for the second time that that day and relaxed for about 1-2 hours. The storm did clear up but it looked like it was moving in the direction that we were headed. We waited until the sky was very clear before continuing on the last 8-9 miles to catch up with Jenga at camp.

12 pack and I continued hiking at 5pm. I absolutely love the way everything looks after it storms. I keep waiting to see a rainbow appear after all the crazy storms we have seen but it hasn’t happened yet. The rest of the hiking was incredibly beautiful. We went through a lot of grassy green alpine meadows. Around golden hour I thought I finally saw a person that looked like it could be Jenga in the distance. About 3 miles later it was confirmed to be him! Right before camp 12 pack I witnessed a herd of about 50-70 elk being chased around the valley floor by two coyotes. It was so interesting to watch such a large group of giant animals be hunted by two smaller predators. We were far enough away that they looked like small dots but it was such a cool event to get to see. I’m not sure if the coyotes were successful in killing any elk or not.

We camped on a saddle at 12,400 feet and it was a chilly night. The sunset was incredible and I was up well after dark making dinner.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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