Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sunday June 6, 2010
Camp 37:  Carson National Forest, North of Lagunitas

Last night we fell asleep to howling wolves and a lightning storm in the distant peaks.  Above us, a clear sky, amazing stars and bright planets, our tent illuminated with each strike of lightning.  Today started out smooth and we were actually on the CDT!  There were cairns and even CDT signs!  Avoiding private land, the trail meandered through beautiful Aspen groves, along spectacular ridges and into a canyon along a stream.  We could see for miles, wide open spaces and mountains in the distance.  We saw herds of elk and antelope grazing and we stumbled upon an elk calf lying right in the middle of the trail.  Apparently his mama sensed danger and he was hiding.  At first it didn’t look like he was breathing as he was very still, his eyes closed.  We knew things were going too easy and soon we dropped steeply to the stream and zigged when we should have zagged!  We took a trail along the stream heading NE when apparently the CDT went NW. Argh!  We followed an old road and had a berm “stylin” contest along the way.  We then followed another road which led to Lagunitas campground and eventually linked back up with a trail that skirted a ridge, giving views of the distant mountain ranges and deep green valleys.  Stunning.  The clouds built and loomed creating a spectacular sunset.  It was a crazy day with lots of ups and downs, but it was beautiful and filled with laughter, and out here, that’s all that matters.  My entire body aches as I lay here waiting for a warm dinner.  We have hereby created a team trail name, “lost before noon.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Friday June 4, 2010

The landscape is changing before my eyes with each step.  The dry sandy mesa, turning to wide open meadows; green and lush, blanketed with dandelions and larkspur.  A dilapidated house sits among a stand of Aspen, lonely.  Mountains tower to the east and small patches of snow remain beneath the pines just at the edge of the forest.  I can see for miles and miles on all sides as we climb higher.  Clear springs surround us, water plentiful and delicious.  The taste of melted snow is sweet on my tongue.  The ground is saturated and I leave footprints in the mud.  Buttercups and Marsh Marigolds complement the fields of corn lilies.  The sun is slowly going down; my legs move on their own and I don’t think I can stop them.  The majestic snow-capped Rockies are getting closer and my stomach flutters.  We stand silently and watch the grazing elk.  He looks in our direction and immediately bounds up the mountain as three others follow suit.  We set up camp at 10,000 feet and watch the clouds turn orange and the sky fades from pink to purple on the horizon.  We are home, on many levels, we are home.

Camp 35: 10,000 feet with mountain and valley views
Camp 36:  spectacular sunset, major thunderheads in the distance and howling wolves!