Day 5: Glorious Open Spaces – Bull Elk Meadow to Continental Divide 15 miles

Between the squirrels scurrying around, the birds chirping and the elk bugling, it’s amazing I was able to sleep at all! I feel like I am sleeping in a zoo but one without cages or enclosures, just wide open spaces. It boggles my mind that I get to participate in this miracle of nature.

Another picture perfect sunrise overlooking Kenosha Pass. It’s hard to get the miles in when all you want to do is take pictures. As we made it to the ridge line, I looked down because them darn elks were making so much noise again! There was a herd of 40-50 elk grazing in the meadow about 1000′ below us. They were slowly making their way to higher ground. It was pretty remarkable to witness such a thing. My husband George would have done anything to sneak up on one. I just looked from afar and marveled at such loud and magnificent creatures they are.

Once we made it to the local campground, we found a hand water pump and yes, this is how we wash our stinky laundry. We placed our dirty grimy socks, underwear (I know, not the way I do laundry at home either) and assortment of bandanas and yes, my pee rag. Maybe too much information, but I let the cat out of the bag now. I use a pee rag instead of tons of toilet paper, which once used you need to pack out. My pee rag is one item in my backpack, that only has one use, to wipe after peeing. And I’m doing my part to help out the rest of you so you can get your supply of toilet paper! After our laundry was somewhat clean, we filled our water bottles and headed up another hill.

This was a day to remember for all the long reaching vistas with mountains encapsulating the valleys below. I think if I was a cow, this is where I would want to live! It’s so lush and green, and few people live here. But what there are a lot of, is mountain bikers.

I saw more fat tires on the CT, than I’ve ever seen at any bike shop. They typically ride in packs like wolves, so once you see them, you’re gonna see them again on the flip-flop. Here on the CT, we give bikes the right-of-way. They are faster, bigger and it’s much easier for me to move over than for them to maneuver off the trail. I like to mountain bike but I don’t know if I have the ability to ride the trails here. There are countless rocks, roots, fallen trees and logs that block your trail and it just seems like too much work. I’ll stick to what I do best and that’s hiking.

Triple Z and I had a wonderful day today. I think we are getting into a rhythm that suits us both. Honestly we haven’t hiked much together, but we both have hiked many miles on various trails. We have different styles of hiking. She likes to get up super early, eats while she hikes, and hike all day long. I would rather sleep in and wake up with the birds, have breakfast in my tent, hike a few miles and stop to snack, hike a few more miles and soak my feet and wander into camp around 5pm. We have made some sanctions and I’m getting up early, but Triple Z is experiencing a much more relaxed pace. She is indulging in the foot soaking exercise at noon and we are compromising on the miles we hike daily. It’s like a marriage on the trail. No one gets there way all the time, but we get to experience this life on the trail together. And that is truly a gift!

You my brothers and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather serve each other humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

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