Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Day 112: Familiar faces

August 10: The morning was brutally cold. Frost formed on everything, and even some of the water in my water bottle had frozen. After eating breakfast, I went to brush my teeth and was pretty surprised when I stuck a toothbrush in my mouth and realized the bristles had frozen solid during the night! Had to thaw them out with my mouth before I could really brush with it.

With that sort of cold, I really didn't feel like getting up in the morning, so I stayed in my sleeping bag a bit later than normal and wasn't on the trail and hiking until 7:00am.

Just before I start hiking, I typically turn on my SPOT device which updates my location every 5 to 10 minutes so my friends and family can see precisely where I am, but this morning, I found it not working. It was still working fine when I turned it off the evening before, but by morning, it wouldn't go. I wondered if the cold helped kill the batteries as well.

Even worse, I hadn't expected the batteries to die so quickly. Typically, the batteries it uses only needed to replaced about once per month and I was sure they still had at least a week before they needed to be replaced. As a result, I didn't carry any extras. They were in the bounce box that had my laptop that I forwarded to the next trail town. Hopefully, if my mom noticed that I'm not moving today, she just assumes that I forgot to turn it on and doesn't think I was eaten by a bear during the night!

The day's hike was gorgeous. The Wind River Range really does not disappoint! But the whole day, I felt unmotivated and not particularly excited about hiking. At least the trail wasn't difficult. In fact, it was pretty easy overall. By the end of the day, my GPS had recorded only about 1,000 feet of elevation gain--which isn't to say that the trail was flat because there was over 4,000 feet of elevation drop. But it was pretty easy overall. I was glad about this. Maybe if I camped 3,000 feet lower tonight, it might not get quite so cold as it did last night.

Throughout the day, I probably passed over 20 south-bounders. I had long stopped counting them at this point. There were a lot of them, though, and--as it turned out--I actually knew one of them!

I was heading down a particularly steep drop while he was climbing up and I recognized him immediately.

"Ryan!" I said, feeling a bit weird since it was my own name as well, but that's also why I remembered his name so clearly.

He looked at me, kind of with a "how does this guy know my name?" look.

"It's me! Ryan! From the PNT!"

He was the one and only PNT thru-hiker I had met on that entire trail so he stuck out in my mind. We even shared a hotel room in Bonners Ferry, ID. 

This is Ryan, the one and only thru-hiker I met while hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail, who was now thru-hiking the CDT southbound.

Then he recognized me. We chatted for about 10 minutes. He had a trail name now: Rewind. When I had met him on the PNT, he hadn't had a trailname. 

He suggested certain alternates routes ahead on the trail that he had done and highly recommended, and I told him about the blowdowns he'd soon be facing. Typical thru-hiker chat.

It was fun catching up, but we eventually continued on in our own directions. It was a shame we hadn't crossed paths at the end of the day and could camp together.

Another southbound hiker I met was named Moose. "That makes you, like, the 10th moose I've seen on this trail!" I joked.

He noticed my pack and asked if I had made it myself. "Well, yes I did!" I replied.

As it turned out, Moose had also sewed his own pack, and then we got into a big discussion about sewing packs. His pack looked very professional and awesome and I told him as much. It was so good, I hadn't even recognized that he sewed it himself until he pointed it out, and I felt like an idiot that I hadn't noticed. But it was a top-notch pack. I could sew a pack like that, but deliberately throw all sorts of wild colors into it to make it look like I made it myself. =) I'm still a bit bitter that Cotopaxi stole that idea of mine since now sometimes people think I'm wearing one of their packs. (I'm sure they didn't really steal that idea from me, but I was making my colorful packs long before that company was even founded.)

A photo of Moose's homemade pack.

Unlike me, however, he actually sells some of the stuff he makes and had stickers with his company name and logo asking if I wanted one. Well of course! =) I never knew a thru-hiker that carried his own stickers! Brilliant! I added it to the cover of my journal, along with the other stickers that I picked up in my travels. He told me that most thru-hikers don't want the "extra weight" of a sticker. Yeah... not a problem for me. "I carry my own stamp and ink pad," I told him. *nodding*

We took photos of each other's packs because, you know, why not? =)

Then we continued onward in our separate directions.

For all the southbound thru-hikers I was meeting, I never saw anyone going northbound the whole day. Funny how that works.

At the end of the day, I set up camp. I pulled out the batteries from my headlamp and some spare batteries for the headlamp to get my SPOT device working long enough so I could click the check-in button and let everyone know I was still moving and fine. Then I popped the batteries back out to put back in my headlamp for later in the evening. 

I really couldn't use them throughout the day. The headlamp batteries were already used so they might not have much juice in the them. The spare batteries I had for my headlamp were fresh and new, but there weren't enough of them to power the SPOT device. So I only put them in the device long enough to check in, and figured I'd do that each afternoon when I set up camp. The rest of the day, the SPOT would be turned off during the day so as not to run down the batteries, and I'd use the batteries at night to power my headlamp.

I set up camp near the Green River Lakes, not far from the headwaters of the Green River, which flows into the Colorado River. The river was a gorgeous light blue color, clearly filled with glacial flour from the high elevation glaciers nearby.

And thus ended another day on the trail.....

Have you ever seen a more gorgeous valley?! I set up camp not long after taking this photo.

This is the Green River, which will eventually flow into the Colorado River.

The light blue color of the water is glacial flour! I wouldn't want to drink it, but it sure is pretty to look at. =)

1 comment:

ArtGekko said...

Those photos look like a postcard or a puzzle photo. Seriously, just stunning!