We were about to leave the hotel and I was looking for something in Yeti’s pack when I happened to shake her Ibuprofen bottle. Disaster, there were only 4 vitamin I tablets left as thru hikers refer to these essential pills. Our start was to be delayed while we waited for the dollar store to open.
After saying goodbye to the owner of the hotel she went over to Yeti and said here is a little present for you and she gave Yeti a silver Navajo bracelet.
When we finally started walking the day was cold but still very pleasant. As we had 3000 feet of climbing this morning we were grateful for the break from the heat.
Our hike this morning was through our first Wilderness area and looked alot like Colorado. We were climbing next to a stream brimming with ice cold snow melt run off. Water was running down the trail and it reminded us a lot of our daily hiking trail back in Colorado.
By lunch time we had made the first part of the climb and arrived in a beautiful park with the perfect spot for lunch. As this was the first day out of town, lunch was summer sausage, cheese, avacado and tomato. A real treat.
We sat in the sun and enjoyed the view. The location where we sat looked like a perfect horse camp with a magic meadow in front. As we sat there eating lunch we could spot the obvious signs of where people had tied their horses, had their camp fire and pitched their tent. Even though we may never bring horses down here we are always still looking for how the trail would be for horses.
After lunch we started across the meadow only to find it was awash in snow melt. I started walking and at first tried to step from high spot to high spot in an effort to keep my feet dry. After 20 feet of this I gave up and just accepted my feet would be wet. Yeti tried to keep her feet dry but in the end the marsh got her too.
We walked through the marsh for awhile and the sun was shinning but there was a very cold wind blowing. Then it started snowing on us. We could not see the cloud imthat the snow was coming from but the combination of the wind, wet feet and snow was starting to make us feel cold. Luckily just as the cold was starting to seep in we climbed a ridge, got in the trees and out of the water. Much warmer.
We climbed to the top of the wilderness area, about 10,500 ft, and then descended the other side. This side of the hill had much less water and so we set our goal for the day as a stream marked on the water report.
We went looking for the water at the spot the water report had it marked and could not find anything. As we were bush bashing to find water we heard voices. Yeti yells out hello and then asks “Did you find the stream?” Of course we had stopped 300 yards short of where the stream was. Gut hooks is often wrong in the distances and we often find ourselfs casting about in a wrong spot.
Slapshot and Kenobi had their tents pitched on an old road next to the spring so we joined them for the night.
As we were sitting down to dinner another hiker came down the hill and sang out “Did you find the stream?”. When we shouted back a positive answer she joined us as well. We now had a regular little tent city in the forest. Just on dark a third hiker, Shortcut, came down with the same question. We directed him to the water and after he got his water and said hello to everybody he hiked on because he said it was to crowded.
Our water filters have been a big problem and they are still not performing well. We filtered some water from the spring but in the end, since it was a beautiful spring coming out of the ground next to our tent, we gave up and drank the water untreated.