Start: past canyon manga
Stop: near east fork rio brazos
Total miles: 628
I wake up to elk in the meadow. After a few miles, it takes me three tries to find the CDT. CDT trail markers and cairns lead the wrong way. Dang.
We have an early lunch at Lagunitas high camp and then climb out. It starts to gently hail on us as we make our way through snow drifts. We opt for a road which connects to a high ridge. As we arrive at the ridge top, we are met by wind over 40-50 mph. I cinch down my hat as my pack cover tries to blow off. We stumble through the mind altering wind in the direction of the trail.
At our next break I go to put on my rain jacket. It is not on my pack. There is only one answer. The damn thing blew off on the ridge, miles back. I think about going back to look for it but who knows how far it has blown by now. Plus, we were traveling cross country so it would be nearly impossible to retrace my steps. I never would have guessed that my rain jacket would get to Colorado before me. We’re over 11,000 feet and the ripping wind is so cold that I have to put on my down jacket. To console me, Serena Williams gives me a yerba mate pill.
Nice trail leads to a rock stumble so we decide to go cross country and skip a big turn in the trail. Road to creek crossings to boggy marshes to road to one last ice cold creek crossing before we’re back on trail. And then we climb to our home for the night.
After setting up my tent I work on warming my ice block feet. Dry socks and down booties go on. I massage my feet all during dinner as I try to bring them back to life. We’re dead tired from all that the day brought us and are in our sleeping bags long before darkness falls.