CDT Thru-hike week 8. Fires.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The blackened trees from the latest fire was not how I imagined RMNP to be. The quiet forest was slowly regenerating with small green vegetation. I could see an elk herd in the distant trees. They would have been hidden by the foliage in the past but were easy to spot in the burn. A cow moose crossed the trail and somehow seemed to disappear in the shadows.
I took a lunch break on the headwaters of the Colorado River. Spreading my wet gear out on a bridge to sun dry the rain off from the night before. Deeper into the burt woods I hiked. Quiet, alone. Occasionally crawling over blown down trees. My thoughts disappeared and all that remained was being present in the mountains.
Before I knew it was sunset. 28 miles and time to tent up. A simple existence in a burnt world.
Routt National Forest
After entering Routt National Forest some NOBO thru-hikers informed me of a fire that just started. Well it wasn’t long before I saw the smoke billowing on the other side of a ridge.
I took an alternate to 3 island lake to avoid getting close to the fire. And I pushed through 30 mile days into the night. My plan was to swim to the island if I was surrounded by fire. Luckily the fire didn’t reach me.
It felt great to be done with another state. The Wyoming/Colorado border had some rocks arranged in words and 2 licence plates. One from each state. As I hiked on the water became more scarce. Just a precursor to the Great Basin.
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