Day 31, 8/7
Mileage: 424.1 – 440.0
Once again we only have to walk about 15 miles today, so we take our time with everything. Under normal circumstances, we’d push the miles to 20 or so after an easy day yesterday, but we don’t have such an option today. The water source which we will sleep by tonight is the last for 22 miles which means we either walk 15 miles or 37 miles, or dry camp and run out of water. Tough choice, I know.
I eat a pop tart and moan and groans with each bite because it is SO DAMN GOOD. Squat and I talk about how hard it’s going to be to quit eating pop tarts after the trail. We can’t actually eat pop tarts for breakfast in real life, that’s just… Not real life. On the trail though, we can eat one for breakfast everyday and be perfectly happy and content. We can even eat a double pop tart breakfast, which I’m going to do tomorrow morning because I have an extra. I can’t wait. It’s possibly even becoming an addiction.
We’re walking at 8:50, and by 10 or so my stomach is growling and I’m hungry already. We decide to get to the top of our first climb before stopping, so I beeline it down the trail towards my snack break. I make it up in no time at all, take a seat on a nice, hard rock and start munching. Cheetos, a package of spicy cheese crackers, and trail mix. I eat almost an entire bag of Cheetos before I realize this isn’t actually lunch time, it’s only snack time, so I’d better not eat everything. We take an extra long snack break- a half hour or so- before continuing on because, well, we have all day.
A little over a mile and only about 20 minutes later we arrive at the end of segment 25 where there’s an old jeep road and a pretty lake, and the sun is shining. The plan is to only take the pack off for a second so I can pee, but once it’s off I’m like, awe hell, might as well keep it off for a while.
“Should we just eat lunch here or should we go a couple miles further?” I ask Squat, anticipating her answer.
“We should just eat lunch here.” She says.
Saw that coming! Done deal! We rip open our food bags again, for the second time in less than an hour, and pull out a bean and cheese burrito and more chips. Once I’m done eating I’m stuffed to the brim. I’m so full there’s no way I can put my pack on right this second.
“I think I need a little nap”, I say, and I sprawl out on the grass and lay my head agains my pack.
We both get super comfy and I doze off in the grass in the sunlight by the lake. It feels magical. I feel spoiled. Sometime in the future later, a guy pulls up on a dirt bike and wakes me up from my sweet nap. He’s cool though, he sits down to eat lunch and we talk about the mountains and the towns and his life here in Colorado. He runs a parasailing business, dirt bikes and mountain bikes on his days off, and in the winter works for ski patrol on the mountain. I want that kind of life, I decide. I’m gonna make it happen. First step- move to Colorado.
We still have 8.5 miles to walk so we can’t waste too much more time, so we get packed up and head out on our way. The only obstacle between here and our campsite is an almost 12,000 ft. pass, but we’ve had so many of those they just seem kind of normal now- not really much of an obstacle at all.
Time passes quickly, as it always does, and before I know it we’re setting up camp, washing our clothes in the stream, cooking dinner… You know, just the usual stuff. Nothing too exciting happens tonight, just a bunch of normal hiker type stuff. I eat dinner in my sleeping bag because it’s already been the laziest of lazy days, so might as well make it more lazy, then I finish the last of the chores and say goodnight pretty early, around 8:30. I’m gonna need that extra hour of sleep- tomorrow is our last hard day on the trail. Bring it on, trail, bring it on.