We are ending our day in a thunderstorm right after supper. We scrambled to get everything stowed. Beginning of trip shakedown. C’s new homemade DCF tarp. She experimented with setup on uneven ground. We talked about how a slight catenary seam at the ridgeline would make the A-frame setup more taut, but might constrain other configurations. K’s new Ursack. Making the knot tight enough, finding a good tree to attach to. The people back down the way, by Bear Creek, asked about whether filtering water is safe and if OP Sacks need to be hung. There is a bear in the area—two men we met earlier today encountered it last night. And there are warning posters at the trailhead. Of course we told them to hang their food as high as possible.
Our walk in Waterton Canyon was hot and felt long. So many people—mountain bikers and hikers. A popular Sunday outing. I got a picture of a flock of mama and baby bighorns. Cormorant. Skink. Walking from shade spot to shade spot like on summer dog walks at home. I felt queasy all day—fatigued, light headed. Worrisome. Just kept walking slowly. I’m feeling better this evening. Polenta pesto supper, greasy but tasty.
After the canyon road we entered a tall pine forest. Not much beetle damage; this forest is green here. Canister stoves only are permitted, because of fire danger. Long water carries in the next 2 days, 8 and 10 miles between sources. Makes packs heavier. I am slowest. K fastest. C right behind Katie. R is staying back with me mostly. Tomorrow will be longer but we can get going earlier and hike later. I might want to suggest supper before camp or even at lunch time at water—South Platte River. Hoping long days of exercise lead to better sleep. Letting go of all the home responsibilities. Hoping M will be OK, and household, and the dog, and the house sitter. Birds sounds in the forest, just getting dark. I decided to bring the Ridgerest not the Flash air pad, for less hassle. Less comfortable too but whatever. Turning in about 8:30 p.m. Still a bit of daylight.
Mile 9.3 Camp above Bear Creek.
For the rest of the story, go to the journal on this page.