Daily Log: Day 67

Meetup: Day 67 – Thursday 9/17/2020 – 2245.0 – clear, sunny, warm/cool. I got up at my usual time of 5 am having awaken much earlier but laid there until 5 am. I packed up and ate breakfast. Justin got up at 5:30 am. We drove to the trailhead 0.8 miles away at 5:45 am. I was on trail at 5:50 am in the dark with my head lamp. I might have seen a bear ahead of me on the trail so began singing “She’ll be com in’ round the mountain”. The dark object ahead disappeared into the forest. If it was a bear then that was close. Whew! Today was a social day. I met Alex and her dog. She hadn’t seen anyone for 4 days. About 0.5 miles later I met six older (my age) hikers out for three days. I mentioned I had flipped to the spring near Cuba NM and they said that the last hiker maintains that section. I explained about ending my hike there in 2016 when two maintainers were working on the spring and that last hiker said it was he and his friend Charlie who was there that day. He said Charlie drove me to town. He remembered me! Think about that… meeting in the middle of the forest, chatting about 4 years ago, and to happen upon one of the guys who helped me. Wow! A big wow! A few miles later I had to cross a stream. It was probably 20’ across so I couldn’t jump it or step from rock to rock. There was a gigantic tree that had fallen across it about four feet above the stream with rushing water and sharp rocks below. My balance is not great and I very very slowly took steps to cross. I used my poles to help balance too. There were dead branches sticking out at various angles that were in the way. In the last few feet I began to wobble but luckily as I began to fall I was able to grab a branch and didn’t. Wow that was close! However my hands were shaking. Adrenaline! I had just made it. A little while later I met two more hikers named Sweet Pea and Beardo. They said “we met your son” and he gave us a soda! Justin the trail angel strikes again. They had flipped and flopped all around the CDT. At about 2:30 pm I completed my day’s hike arriving at the Jeep. Justin had been writing the snow blog entry. I went to set up my tent while he finished up. I asked him to read it to me and as he did he got choked up at the end. It was indeed our most exciting and difficult time on this overland adventure. We had brats for dinner. Only two more days.

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