A squirrel was yelling at me all night. It even ran through my tent vestibule at one point. I was sure I’d wake up to find my pack nibbled on or a shoe missing but everything was fine. I don’t know what the squirrel’s problem was as I was definitely not set up over any sort of holes in the ground.

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I was going up and over the continental divide today so I wanted to be there in the morning and headed back down before noon to avoid the afternoon storm. So of course it started hailing at 10am. It was just little hail again and I wasn’t near the tree line yet so I kept going and it stopped after ten minutes. I could see and hear the storm on the next ridge but right as I was approaching tree line, it jumped over to mine. I decided to ditch my pack and poles and go hide among some trees and have a snack while I waited for the storm to go by. It was a good move because it started lightning and hailing then.

Storms here are quick. I only had to wait twenty minutes or so before it was blue skies again. I finished the climb to the continental divide at 11878′. I’ve been on the continental divide once before, driving somewhere in Yellowstone or Tetons. It’s good to be back. Here the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail begin to run concurrently for the next hundred miles. I took a break at the top and had a long conversation about trail nutrition and calories with a biker there.

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I moved along the ridge a little bit and then realized I might have phone signal so I stopped for another break to take care of a few things. Between the time I looked down at my phone and looked up to see some other hikers approaching, the sky had gone from blue to gray again. I got up to meet the three Australian thru hikers and continued down the mountain with them. It hailed on us a couple more times on the way.

When we were almost to the bottom, I started hearing tons of dogs barking and, it sounded like, fighting. The only thing I could think of was that it was a kennel, but why would there be a kennel in the middle of the woods? So it seemed sketchy to me and I didn’t know what I would find. Well it was a kennel, and it looked like it was full of sled dogs. It was apparently dinner time and that’s why they were all barking so much.

I finished the day early with 13.6 miles. I would have preferred to go farther but I didn’t feel like carrying several extra liters of water up the mountain to dry camp. I am at a creek at about 10100′.

Written by Siren

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