August 2, 2010
Today’s Miles: 13.4
Total Miles: 30.2
Breakfast Elevation: 6,120 ft
Dinner Elevation: 7,780 ft
High Point: 7,840ft
I wake to the sound of a hummingbird buzzing over my tent at regular intervals.
Once it even shoots up between the tent and rain fly, and scares the sleep out of me.
The hillsides are draped in fog.
It soon burns away as the sun climbs over the ridge to the east.
The hummingbird periodically returns to check on things.
A chorus of squirrels and chipmunks chatter away in the gully below, and birds sing.
I take a few moments to dry my tent in the first direct sunlight.
An endless string of mountain bikers begin to zip down the trail past my campsite.
Time to start walking.
Down the hill and over the bridge in South Platte Canyon… according to Trailguy, this is the longest bridge on The Colorado Trail.
The next few miles ascend through the area of an old forest fire.
The terrain undulates and I’m sweating profusely. It’s humid, and the trail feels as though it’s just dragging and beating me up today. Maybe I should have had a proper dinner last night.
The area was burned by the Hayman Fire in 2002, the largest forest fire in Colorado’s recorded history.
It’s the cause of all the topsoil that’s clogging the dam in Waterton Canyon.
Once I’m under the cover of trees again, a five minute break becomes a one-hour nap.
Random boulders are strewn about everywhere, creating some unique formations.
The rock itself reminds me of Joshua Tree National Park.
Soon I come to a another area burned by the fire. It’s much prettier than the first.
A gentle breeze blows through the grass as afternoon storm clouds begin to take shape.
There isn’t a man-made object in sight.
How exciting, a paved road!
Even more exciting is the nearby fire station with an outdoor water spigot. I take a leisurely break here.
The random boulders crop up again.
A steady rain begins with accompanying thunder, but no lightning.
I pass many inviting-looking campsites but they pose a potential lightning danger, high on a ridge surrounded by tall trees.
Finally I come upon a good site, low and close to a small creek.
I simply go about the nightly duties, including a macaroni and cheese dinner, and go to sleep.
Something heavier than a raindrop hits my tent, and falls to the ground.
It’s a dead butterfly. Well isn’t that nice.