Starting location: shrubs in valley below ridge
Ending location: pond with view of Arrow and Vestal peaks
Distance: 20 miles
Elevation gained: 3500 ft
Photo: double rainbow at camp
1 word summary of the day: awesome
Well camping in the shrubbery was interesting! It rained pretty much most of the night, but at least the hail stopped earlier on. My tent was on a slope though so woke up every hour or so when I had Iuged down to the bottom and had to wiggle my way back up to the top!
Got up this morning and bushwhacked my way back to the trail out of the valley. Today's hike was long, but really interesting. We followed the continental divide for most of the morning; so were up high and surrounded by awesome mountain ranges. After heading over Stony Pass (where there was a dirt road, and all of a sudden a bunch of people on ATVs and dirt bikes - shock after not seeing many people for most of the week!) we entered the Weminuche Wilderness area between Stony and Molas Passes, and the scenery just kept getting better! Above 12000 ft for most of the day, until we finally had to drop down into Elk Creek basin, where we went down 2700 ft in only five miles. Thank goodness I have no knee problems!
I got into camp just after 5pm - a very long day. But four awesome things happened after I arrived in camp:
1. A guy who was hiking by that I chatted with for a while gave me an apple - fresh fruit!
2. I saw a moose in the pond
3. It didn't start raining until AFTER I had finished dinner
4. An amazing double rainbow appeared briefly after the rain stopped
So all is good. Tomorrow I only have 8.5 miles to get into Silverton (but that includes about 2500 ft in elevation) so will hopefully get there for lunch and then have the rest of the day to resupply, shower, laundry, catch up on emails, oh and have dinner too! Town days are all about food...