It was cold this morning so we stayed in our tents waiting for the sun to come over the hill. When it finally did, we discovered our tents were in the only two patches of shade from trees. Figures. We got our stuff out and sat in the sun. Finally, we left at 9:30.

The trail was mostly gradually downhill again, along Cochetopa Creek with the cows. We occasionally got to walk through aspens which was nice for both the shade and the live trees (compared to all the beetle kill pine we’ve been seeing).

We did have to ford the creek once due to a bridge being out but it was below the knee. We sat on the other side snacking to dry out for a bit.

Once we reached the end of where the trail follows the creek, we filled up on water and stopped for a long lunch in the shade. Then it was on to dirt roads, which we will pretty much follow until the next highway to town. The roads haven’t been bad though and still go through occasional shade!

The next couple of water sources were pretty crappy, literally. We heard about a water cache ahead and were excited to finally get there for dinner and camp. A trail angel named Apple comes out and refills this water tank he calls Rebecca’s Well, and he leaves a chair there in the shade as well. Perfect!

We started running into CDT hikers today, and I recognized a friend of a friend out on the trail as well.

15.7 miles today and we are camped at 9300′. So much oxygen! Our high point for the day was only around 10400′ too.

We are going to bed to the sound of cows mooing. We haven’t seen any in this field yet so hopefully they are only on the other side of the last gate.