Day 43: High Mountain Parks and Forest

Another day of parks. It feels like we are back in Colorado with these great views and high pastures. We are liking the Aspen and Pine forests but we have started hitting some real snow on the trail. We spend the day trying to avoid getting our feet wet but it is a pointless exercise as there is so much snow melt to get through.

We are still seeing new and different flowers each day and with all the water around we often walk through meadows of flowers. It is unfortunate that the flowers never look as impressive in the photos as the do in real life.

At one of our stops I think it will be good to see how far we have to go to get to the border. Both Yeti and I are goal driven people and seeing the miles click off helps them pass. I look up the distance on the Gut Hooks app to the boarder. I think that does not look right we should be closer than that. I check the spreadsheet we downloaded with distance between resupplies. No, the Gut Hooks app is definitely telling me it is longer than the spreadsheet. I check Yogis book and sure enough the spreadsheet is short by 13 miles. I brace myself to tell Yeti I have stuffed up again knowing this will be a big disappointment to her given her leg injury and our deadline for meeting our lift out on Saturday morning.

She is very disappointed but does not take it out on me. She knows there is nothing we can do but work with what we have got. We start to look for ways we can take some of the alternate routes to shave some miles off. Yeti has determined that if she hikes at her steady pace her leg does not seem to get worse so we decide we will hike a bit longer each day and hope these two things gets us there in time.

We end our day hiking along the a road as a massive thunder storm moves in. It gets darker and darker, we look for somewhere to camp but the hills are steep. In the end we take off through the trees and find an old road cut into the hillside which is the flattest spot we have seen for the last mile. As we start to pull out our tent out the hail comes down. It is a frantic race to get the tent up before it gets wet inside. We have our rain gear on, hurrying around wedging pegs into the ground. In the rush I break two of the pegs, my hat falls off and I leave it in the ground, it is soon full of hail stones and soaking wet.

As we finishing setting the tent up with only a small amount of water inside the storm eases, 15 minutes later it is over.

We eat dinner in the evening light, the storm has brought the temperature down by about 15 degrees and it feels cold. A warm meal does a lot to make this seem a little better after our two set backs today, the extra miles and the storm.

Yeti gets an extra boost by hearing a herd of horses in the meadow below us. She headers the whistle of a stallion on guard and cannot mistake the sound.  She walks back down to the road and sees the stallion with his herd of 12 mares, six with babies. She returns to the tent feeling happy.